The coldest season of the year is upon us, and sitting by the fire isn't going to be enough to fight the freezing weather conditions. It is essential to make sure that your furnace system is ready for winter.
So how do you make sure your heating system is ready?
Here are a few simple tasks to prepare your furnace for a season of high usage:
Inspect your thermostat.
The first thing to do is to make sure your thermostat is working correctly with these steps:
- Turn your thermostat on and switch from cooling to heating. Set the temperature a few degrees higher than room temperature. Ideally, you will hear the heat kick on within the first minute.
- If the heat doesn't kick on, turn the thermostat off again. Then pull off the thermostat cover and check the wiring for any loose or dislodged connections.
- If everything looks connected as it should be, check on the power connection next. The power source to the central HVAC system should be turned on.
- If the main power source is on, but the thermostat is still not working, the damage is most likely with the furnace fan, blower, or heat pump. Unless you have the training to figure out what's causing those components to malfunction, this is the point to call in a professional.
Change the air filters on your furnace.
Air filters need to be replaced at least once every season to ensure your furnace is working optimally. The U.S. Department of Energy tells us that replacing air filters is the most critical maintenance task if you want to keep your heating unit working efficiently.
Before buying a replacement filter, make sure you know the exact size and type you need. An ill-fitting filter will cause inadequate heating and can damage your heating system. When buying a new air filter, you can also consider the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). MERV is a rating developed to assign a filter's efficiency level. The higher the MERV value, the more efficiently your unit will run. However, compatibility is still important, and selecting an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high for your unit can restrict airflow.
Clean the vents on your furnace.
Furnace vents naturally accumulate dirt and debris over time. Once the buildup is significant enough, it will clog the openings and cause system problems by trapping heat inside. However, it's easy to eliminate this threat by thoroughly cleaning your vents regularly.
To clean your vents, use a wet cloth to get rid of any dirt particles settled on the surface. You can also use a cleaning solution to kill any harmful germs or bacteria hiding between the segments.
Test your furnace before winter arrives.
It's essential to test your furnace to see if it's working before the cold weather comes. That way, if it isn't working, you'll still have time to contact a professional to repair and service your heating system.
A few common indicators that your furnace might need professional assistance: abnormal sounds such as banging and rattling, a malfunctioning thermostat, or an apparent lack of heating.
A final word on preparing your furnace for winter
Checking on your furnace before winter comes is essential to ensure that it keeps running worry-free in the coldest months. The increased usage might be too much for older units, so it's wise to have a professional look at your system and tell you what needs to be done.
You can trust Air Butler Heating & Cooling to make a thorough inspection of your furnace and provide you with the best service at the most competitive prices. Call or email us to set up an appointment, and we will make sure your furnace is ready to go before the cold weather arrives.