With colder days starting to trickle in, it's that time of the season to start cranking up the thermostat. After chilly days spent at the pumpkin patch or the farmer's market, nothing beats returning to a lovely toasty home to warm up again. Before winter comes in full force, early Autumn is a great time to prep your furnace to make sure everything is working correctly. With just a few quick steps, you can make sure you and your family will be warm cozy no matter how cold it gets.
How to Prepare Your Furnace
Schedule Your Annual Check-Up
The best place to start is by scheduling a routine check-up with a local HVAC professional. With all the different components in the furnace, it's best to have a trained professional look to assess the condition of the overall furnace. If any issues are found or any parts need to be replaced, it's best to do them earlier than having your furnace break down in the middle of the winter. Many check-ups included cleaning the unit and its various components, as well as any adjustments or tuning that the HVAC professional deems appropriate. Ultimately, their observations should prevent surprises and help you stay ahead of any issues by resolving them sooner rather than later.
Change Your Filters
One of the more commonly forgotten household tasks for homeowners, replacing your furnaces' air filter is an easy and effective way to keep your unit running efficiently. Typically, you should replace your air filter once every 30-90 days. If you have pets or small children in your home, you may want to replace them more often. Having a dirty filter makes your furnace work harder to heat your home and even cause damage to your unit, so it's best to set a reminder to check and replace filters regularly.
Check or Replace Your Thermostat
When you switch from cooling to heating for the first time, ensure everything is turning on properly. Slowly turn up the temperature to make sure the furnace is turning on and begin heating your home. If it Is not working, there may be a wiring or fuse issue with your thermostat. Again, it's better to uncover any problems like these as early as possible. If you require a replacement or want to upgrade, you may consider installing a smart thermostat. This gives you greater control and efficiency across your heating and cooling system.
Clear Your Vents
Go around your home, ensuring all the vents are exposed and have enough space to allow for proper airflow. Much like a dirty air filter, anything blocking the vents can harm or overwork your furnace. While you check on the vents, it would be a good idea to dust and clean them to make sure indoor pollutants are being blown across your home.
Consider Replacing your Furnace
If you have an older unit, around 20 years old, you may want to consider replacing it with a new model. If your furnace is running well and the HVAC professional does not uncover serious issues, you may choose to hold off. However, if numerous repairs are required, it might make more sense to buy a new furnace.
Why Preparing Your Furnace A Good Idea
As is the case for all appliances and systems in your home, proper maintenance will keep your furnace working effectively up to the manufacture's prescribed lifespan. Keeping your furnace clean and ensuring the various ducts, vents, and filters clear will ensure the furnace is heating you efficiently. Making your furnace work harder than necessary will certainly shave time off its lifespan and require you to replace your unit sooner than scheduled.
When your appliances and systems are working efficiently, lower energy bills at the end of the month, proper maintenance will increase the effectiveness of your furnace so that you can keep your home warm for less money in energy costs. Additionally, stocking up on furnace filters before the cold season begins will get you a better price and ensure that you can swap your furnace filter regularly during high uses periods.
Proper furnace maintenance will keep your home safer and healthier. A common issue that could harm your family or home is fire hazards due to flammable material near the furnace or the ducts and vents around the house. As the furnace heats your home, it will be blowing air throughout the home. Be sure to keep the ducts and vents clean so that dust and debris are not blown throughout the house, detrimental to the indoor air quality.
Keeping your home heated is crucial during the winter months, so it's best to get your furnaced prepped before the cold weather arrives. In most cases, getting your furnace in top shape won't take much work or time, but if you do come across any issues, you will be glad to sort them out early before your furnace breaks down in the middle of a frigid night. Stay safe and stay warm!