The freezing winter is nearing us, so to keep you and your family warm and toasty, get your furnace ready on time before the temperature plummets. And, if you are wondering how to prepare furnace for winter, here are 7 heating tips to help you do so, while ensuring it functions efficiently and lowers your utility costs.
7 Heating tips to get your furnace winter ready
1. Clean & change air filters as required
For a furnace to function at its optimum, it helps a lot to have clean air filters. So, before the temperature drops, make sure you have cleaned or changed the air filters as per the need.
Also, it is a good idea to have air filters cleaned every 2-3 months, considering the season, how much dust & debris they have collected, and what kind of heating & cooling system you have installed.
For instance, if you have got a central heating and cooling system, you have to clean and/or change the filters even in summer for it to function efficiently.
Before you check, clean or replace the air filters in the furnace, shut down the power first.
2. Check the chimney
Before starting your furnaceto prepare for the cold season, remember to check the chimney for any debris that may have got stuck in it, and see if there are any bird nests as well. Do not forget to examine it for signs of soot building up. All these can lead to fire hazard. If you are not up for inspecting the chimney yourself, have a professional HVAC technician do it for you.
3. Clean burners free of dust
Dust is a never ending problem. The furnace burners can easily collect dust and lint, while not in use during summer months. So, prep your furnace by cleaning the dust and getting rid of lint from the burner. Also, make sure that there is no furniture or anything near the burner that can easily catch fire.
4. See if the furnace blower needs to be lubricated
Since the furnace hasn’t been used for a long time, you have to check if the furnace blower needs to be oiled or not. This is necessary, especially if you have an older model of furnace with a lot of moving parts with bearings. Furnace blower, or for that matter the furnace itself, shouldn’t make any strange sounds when it’s started or while in operation.
So, it is a good thing to oil the furnace blower motor once every year. If not, your furnace will not work efficiently, it will start to degrade and need repairs or expensive replacement, or worse, create and/or be a fire hazard.
5. Check that your thermostat is working properly
While preparing the furnace for freezing temperatures, make sure to check the thermostat. See if it is working properly or not. To check this, turn on the thermostat and observe how it responds. It should set up straight away without any glitches. And if not, your furnace will work in an efficient manner as well.
If you have an old thermostat, you need to consider changing it to a new programmable thermostat, so as to have up-to-date energy efficient technology. Programmable thermostat helps you control temperature of the furnace, and adjust it to different conditions.
You can set the temperature to increase at night, and program it to automatically lower when there is no one in the house. It comes with different features, such users can program it for a week, or control the temperature settings through the internet.
6. Keep heating vents unobstructed
Whether it’s for spring cleaning, buying new furniture for the house or preparing your home for winter, furniture is always moved around. So, it is necessary to inspect all air vents, to see if any one of them is blocked. Remove house plants, chairs or toys getting in the way of air vents and obstructing the air flow.
Blocked air vents are of no use to you and the furnace needs to work even harder to warm the house, which in turn further increases the temperature of the furnace, creating fire hazards. Lesson – Always keep the heating vents open and unobstructed!
7. Early inspection by a professional technician
Your best bet to keep your furnace efficient and ready for winter is to have it inspected by a professional & reliable HVAC contractor near you. Since they are super busy when the winter hits, it’s best that you schedule an appointment to have your heating system inspected early in the season.
They will check the furnace to see if everything is in order, and see if you need to repair a certain component, or have it replaced. The other benefit of getting an expert technician to have a look at your furnace is that they are perceptive of any possible risks for house fire.
This will save you from a lot of pain from having to suffer through cold temperature, when and if your furnace breaks down.
Remember to keep the furnace room clean and have scheduled maintenance, on-time repair and replacement of parts, your furnace will work efficiently, saving on energy bills. Hope these heating tips will help you prepare furnace for coming winter.
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