Fall is the time to get ready for winter: find your snow shovels and scrapers, dig out those hats and gloves, and prep those holiday decorations. Above all, make sure your home is safe and warm for you and your family. A sub-zero January night is not a good time to discover your furnace needs help.
Here are some things you can do now to make sure you’re ready for the deep freeze of winter:
Do a Test Run
It’s been months since you’ve run the furnace. Don’t wait for that first cold day to turn it on for the first time. Give it a test run now to check for any strange smells, which may indicate dirty ducts, or unusual sounds, such as rattling or banging, that may signal an operational issue.
Change the Air Filter
Many homeowners forget about their furnace’s air filter until something goes wrong. Save yourself frustration, money, and an unexpected indoor cold snap by changing the air filter every three months. Fresh filters not only keep your furnace working, but working more efficiently since accumulated dust and dirt make your system work harder.
Program Your Thermostat
Like the furnace air filter, people often forget to consider the state of their thermostat. Life gets busy, the heat kicks on, and they go about their business without checking if the temperature is meeting the right balance of comfort and efficiency. A temperature of 68 is a good rule of thumb when your family is home and awake, with 65 when you’re asleep or away. Resist the temptation to set the thermostat lower during these times, as the system will expend more energy to make up the difference, actually costing you more.
Check the Flues
During long periods of non-use, it is possible that the flues for your furnace or boiler may have accumulated a bird's nest, grass clippings, or even an Easter egg that could block the exhaust or get sucked into the unit, causing a potential breakdown or safety concern.
Clear the Space around Your Air Vents
Even if the couch looks great over top your cold air return, you might need to find a different place to lounge. Supply and/or return air vents covered with furniture, decorations, or any other household items causes unnecessary strain on the blower in your furnace that could lead to premature failure. Additionally, airflow restrictions in either the supply or return ductwork could lead to reduced heating capacity or hot and cold spots throughout your house.
Get Professional Maintenance
If your furnace doesn’t pass the test run, or if you’re unsure whether it’s working at its best, call an expert like Comfort Control to make sure you’re in good shape for winter. They will make sure your heating system is not only operating safety and comfortably, but in the most cost-efficient way possible.
Ready to just leave it to the professionals? Contact us today to take care of your seasonal service visit or learn about our maintenance plans.