Your Pre-Winter Furnace Checklist
The last thing that you want is to turn on your furnace when the temperature starts to drop, only to find that it won’t start. Every year, just before winter, you should be completing some kind of furnace care. After so many months of dormancy during the hot Texas summers, completing furnace maintenance will prepare it for heavy winter use. Your home furnace needs maintenance. While furnaces are incredibly durable, just like any other system, they can become damaged through normal wear and tear. Completing your own maintenance as well as scheduling regular maintenance can help you stay on top of normal damages and prevent unexpected ones. Continue reading to find out what you need to do for your furnace before the temperature drops.
Importance of Professional Furnace MaintenanceWhile there are many things that you can do to prepare your furnace for colder temperatures, the best thing that you can do is schedule professional maintenance. A professional technician will be able access and inspect certain components of your furnace that you may not be able to by yourself. There are many benefits to scheduling regular furnace maintenance, including:
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced likelihood of damage
- Lower energy bills
- Longer lifespan
Pre-Winter Furnace Maintenance ChecklistWhile scheduling professional maintenance is the best way to take care of your furnace, there are also things that you should do yourself. Most of these tasks are easy and don’t require much time or expense. Take a look at this pre-winter furnace maintenance checklist:
- Replace the filter: many homeowners aren’t aware that the furnace has its own filter. It is recommended that you change the filter four times a year. It is also important that you change all of your household filters at least once a month. Doing this will improve air quality and protect your systems from overheating. When filters become clogged, they force the system to work extra hard which often leads to overheating and higher energy bills. You can purchase filters at any home improvement store and some grocery stores.
- Open air vents: open any return and supply registers that you may have closed over the summer. Be sure to double check that there is no furniture or rugs covering any of the vents. Doing this will ensure that you remain comfortable in any season.
- Check burner flames: turn on your furnace and take a look at the burner flames. You want them to be blue and of an even size. If they are not blue or an even size, then your burner needs to be cleaned. This is something that you can do by yourself as long as you completely disconnect the furnace. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you can also request your technician to do it when they come for maintenance.
- Listen for odd noises: turn on your furnace and take note of any strange noises. An odd noise could be caused by a slipped blower belt or rusty moving parts. Make sure to let your technician know about the noise you heard when they come to provide maintenance.
- Inspect your chimney: take a look at your chimney and check for any nests or other debris buildup. Make sure to clean the area and brush away soot. Doing this improves the efficiency and safety of your furnace.
- Seal leaks: properly sealing around your windows and doors can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your system. Take a look around for any sealant that may be falling apart or weather stripping that may be coming off. Replace these faulty sealants so that the warm air stays in.
- Clean your windows: when you clean your windows you are ensuring that natural light is able to shine through. This helps to naturally warm your home a bit more. If you maximize this natural warmth enough, you may even be able to lower your furnace and save on your energy bills.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector: if you do not already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector right next to your furnace. Every furnace has a heat exchanger which helps to move heat from the burners to the air. Over time, a heat exchanger may become cracked and begin to leak carbon monoxide. This is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. Installing a carbon monoxide detector next to your furnace alerts you to a leak before it is able to get inside of your house. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, call a technician right away and shut off your furnace and gas line.
Schedule HVAC Cedar Hill, TX MaintenanceScheduling furnace maintenance provides access to a professional who can check any components or complete any tasks that don’t fall in the “DIY” territory. Here are a few of the tasks that a professional HVAC technician may complete while doing furnace maintenance:
- Lubricate moving parts
- Tighten belts and connecters
- Check electrical wiring, outputs and inputs
- Check gas line connections
- Inspect and clean air ducts
- Check pilot light and ignitor switch
- Check heat exchanger for cracks