As leaves are changing colors, and temperatures are dropping, we know that winter isn’t far away. Also, with cooler temperatures, many homeowners will be turning on their furnaces for the first time. But, did you know that before you ever flip the switch, there are steps you should take to ensure your furnace is energy-efficient, operational, and up to safety standards? Taking measures now will mean that when that first cold day hits, you won’t be literally left out in the cold.
Recently, we told you what could be causing a burning smell when you turn on the furnace for the first time this season. Now, we want to share our five tips for prepping your furnace for the winter. By working with a licensed HVAC professional and following these handy tips, you will undoubtedly have many comfortable winter days in your home.
Tip 1: Schedule an inspection
Now is the perfect time call a professional to check out your furnace. During this visit, a technician will not only inspect you furnace, but they will also clean it, change the filter, check for gas leaks and test it to ensure it’s operational. Consider also having your furnace air ducts cleaned. Removing dust and debris that gets trapped over the summer months will not only make your furnace run more efficiently, but it will also have you and your family breathing easier. Filters also should be checked and changed often. We recommend switching them out every three months, and if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or other respiratory conditions, consider investing in a hypo-allergenic option.
Tip 2: Ensure functionality
To have a “well-oiled machine,” your technician should clean and make certain that all of the furnace components are fully functional. This includes the pilot light and oiling the furnace blower motor. Both play a major role in how well your system works. The pilot light should be lit and the furnace blower motor should be oiled once per year. If your furnace has a pilot light it may be time to update you system. Most modern systems no longer have pilot lights and are more reliable.
Tip 3: Check the thermostat
A functioning thermostat goes hand in hand with how well your furnace will operate. When you turn on your furnace for the first time this winter, you should monitor how well your thermostat responds. If it reflects increases and decreases in temperatures, you’re fine. If it doesn’t, you should update your thermostat, and consider investing in a programmable option, which can automatically adjust to help save you money. As a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer, Breedlove Dobbs has a number of thermostats that can help keep you comfortable.
Tip 4: Uncover the vents
If anything is obstructing the heating and cooling vents in your home, it could be contributing to higher utility bills or overheating problems. That’s because if heat is getting trapped, it has no place to circulate. To avoid this from happening with your furnace, check that all of your vents are uncovered, and that air is properly circulating.
Tip 5: Clear a path
If you have any items being stored near your furnace, now is the time to remove them, especially any items that can catch fire while you are prepping your furnace. It’s also a good time to clear away anything being stored on top of or in front of your air ducts and return vents. Clearing a path will help your system operate at full capacity.
Now is a fantastic time to start prepping your furnace for the winter. By keeping your furnace in proper working order, you’ll not only save money and keep your home and family safe, but you’ll also avoid being left in the cold. If we can help, please call us today.