Before the winter arrives it is important that you make sure your furnace is safe, operational, and efficient. You do not want to be in a situation where you have no operating furnace and it is freezing cold outside and you are in a panic to get a professional over to your home. Here are a few things you can do yourself proactively to ensure everything is operating safely and efficiently:
1. Turn on thermostat
Make sure you first switch your thermostat to heating and then set the temerpature higher than current room temperature. You should hear a click within minutes of turning the heater on, if you do not you may need to check that the wire connections are good by pulling off the thermostat cover. If still not working you may need to call a professional to go and check the fan, blower, or heat pump.
2. Change air filters
It is very important to change your air filters every few months for both your furnace as well as the humidifier filter. Changing air filters frequently will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system and save you money on future costly repairs.
3. Clean out your heat exchanger
Every heat exchanger should be cleaned out annually by a maintenance professional. During the clean out a professional can check for and cracks that would let out CO in your house.
4. Inspect CO detectors
You should inspect and if required replace your carbon monoxide detector to help protect your home from what we call the “silent killer”.
5. Cover the AC Condenser
You should cover your AC condenser unless your HVAC is a heat pump to prevent from falling ice as well as other falling particles.
6. Ensure the furnace does not have dust or debris
It is not uncommon for dust and debris to collect on the furnace’s burner during the summertime. You should clean the burner area before you turn on the heat and winter starts. While you are cleaning take a look to see if there are any rusts or misaligned parts.
7. Regular Maintenance
There are certain preventative maintenance that you can do on your own. You can shut your system off and then on and listen for unusual rattling or banging sounds. If something sounds unusual you should probably call a professional to come and inspect your furnace.
8. Make sure all heating vents are open and there are no blockage
Before you turn on the furnace you should make sure that all the vents are open and that there are no blocked vents. In the event that there is a blockage in your vent this can cause the furnace to overheat