After months of inactivity, a home furnace needs some help before it’s in prime running shape for the upcoming season. If you skip your fall tune-up, the dusty, dried-out parts of your furnace are more likely to break down once temperatures drop. To avoid a heater breakdown in the middle of winter, it is important to take action and prepare now. Scheduling professional furnace maintenance now can save you money on winter heating bills and increase the lifespan of your heating system.
Here are some guidelines to prepare your furnace for winter:
Clean the Furnace Filter
The first thing homeowners can do to prepare for winter is replace the furnace filter. By installing a new, clean air filter, your furnace can better circulate heat throughout your home. A fresh furnace filter is an efficient step for a cleaner, better air quality. In fact, you may want to upgrade from disposable filters to a washable, electrostatic filter that can be cleaned several times throughout the winter.
Test the Furnace
Ensure that your furnace can properly turn on and off. To check this, find the ignitor switch and hit the reset button, or turn your furnace off, wait a minute, and then turn it back on. Once your furnace has been reset, try setting your thermostat at least three degrees higher. It is possible for a faulty furnace to only heat a little and then shut itself off, so make sure you increase the thermostat by more than one degree. Check the circuit breaker if your furnace won’t turn on. Once it’s on, the air may have a burning smell for a few seconds if there’s dust to burn up.
Clean Furnace Vents and Surrounding Area
Even a perfectly working furnace struggles to heat a home efficiently with dusty, clogged, or blocked vents. Make sure to dust and vacuum as far down around each air vent and move furniture away from vents, so they do not block the airflow from circulating. Also, try to avoid closing vents in unused rooms because your furnace and ductwork are sized and arranged to operate best with all vents open.
Seal Air Leaks
Go above and beyond to keep your home warm this season by sealing air leaks throughout your home. Re-sealing windows and doors, upgrading insulation, closing the chimney, and trying to avoid air loss will not only cut down your utility bills but prolong your furnace by not having to work overtime in a drafty house.
Schedule a Furnace Inspection and Maintenance
Furnaces should be inspected, cleaned, and serviced by an HVAC professional at least once a year. Trained technicians are able to find and fix small problems before they become bigger problems in freezing winter temperatures. At Lowery, our professionals can test the motor, lubricate parts, examine the fuel valve, and perform several furnace maintenance tasks that amateurs should avoid for safety reasons. It is also vital that gas furnaces are checked for potentially fatal gas leaks before the winter gets rough, and your furnace is put to the test.
Call Lowery today to ensure that your furnace is prepared for winter or visit www.trustlowery.com for more HVAC information and services.