Winter is coming.
But instead of a blizzard of Game of Thrones-style white walkers to worry about, you need to prepare your furnace to handle actual winter weather.
When Fall hits and the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to change your system over from air conditioning to heating. The following are five tips to prepare your furnace for winter.
1. Get an Inspection from HVAC Professionals First
You should have at least an annual check-up on your HVAC system– particularly before turning on the furnace for the cold season.
HVAC professionals will inspect your system and do the following:
- Make sure the electrical wiring is safe and working properly
- Clean the heat exchanger and look for cracks which could potentially lead to carbon monoxide leaks
- Check valves for leaks if it’s a gas system, and also clean the pilot burner
- Check and lubricate the blower motor which blows hot air into your home
- Clean the flame sensor as these become dirty with the burning of gas
Day & Night Mechanical Solutions can come inspect your furnace if you live in the Denver area.
2. Change Your Air Filters
You should be changing your air filters once every three months, or more often depending on if you have pet hair, dander, or allergens in the home. A dirty filter can actually damage parts of the furnace and prevent proper airflow. If you have a permanent electrostatic filter, you simply remove it, wash it, and put it back in place. Keeping filters clean prevents particles from flowing through your HVAC system and lengthens the life of the furnace. When you change the furnace air filter, you should also change the humidifier pad/canister if your system includes one.
3. Check the Thermostat
Time to adjust the thermostat from cooling to heating. Set the temperature a couple of degrees higher than the room temperature and wait a minute for the heat to kick on. If it doesn’t come on within a minute, it’s time to troubleshoot. First, check that the wire connections are secure if you feel confident doing so. Then make sure the power source to the furnace is turned on. If those aren’t the solution to the problem, the next steps are to check the furnace fan, blower, or heat pump. If you don’t feel comfortable troubleshooting these furnace components, it’s time to call an HVAC expert.
4. Clean Your Ducts
Many people who have lived in a home with an HVAC system are familiar with the smell of burning dust and dirt when you first turn on the furnace in the Fall season. That’s an indication that your air ducts may need some cleaning.
It’s not necessary to clean your air ducts before turning on the furnace, but it’s worth considering if:
- Your air filters frequently fill up with dirt
- A resident of your home has a vulnerable immune system
- You recently completed a big remodeling project
It’s up to you how frequently you have your air ducts cleaned but cleaning them will help improve the air quality in your home.
5. Clean Chimneys & Inspect Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While you prepare your furnace, it’s an opportune time to ensure your home is protected from carbon monoxide. A healthy working furnace produces very small amounts of carbon monoxide, but a dirty furnace can produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide. You can protect the home from the buildup of carbon by having cleaning your chimney periodically and periodically testing your carbon monoxide detectors. The detectors will beep when the batteries need to be replaced and the detector itself needs to be replaced every five to seven years.
Follow the above five tips to prepare your furnace for the cold season months and you should have a safe and well-functioning furnace to keep your home cozy and comfortable through winter.
Need a furnace inspection and live in the Denver area? Contact Day & Night Mechanical Solutions to schedule an inspection today!