Get Your Furnace Ready For Winter With These Easy Tips

The Fall season is upon us, which means winter will be here before you know it. Even though the weather may still be warm and you might still be running your A/C, October is the perfect time to begin preparing your furnace for the upcoming winter season. As a homeowner, it’s critical to ensure your furnace will be ready to combat the upcoming cold temperatures. Here are a few simple steps you can take now to prep your HVAC system so it runs smoothly all winter long.

1. Take your furnace for a test ride – turn your thermostat on

You don’t want to get caught in a situation where it’s below freezing out and you go to turn your thermostat on and nothing happens. To prevent that, switch the setting on your thermostat from cooling to heating and raise the temperature a few degrees higher than the current room temperature.

What you want to hear is the heat kicking on within a minute or two. If that doesn’t happen, remove the cover from your thermostat and make sure all wire connections are snug and secure. You’ll want to tighten any loose wires you find, but if they are all snug, double-check your HVAC system is plugged in. After doing that, if the heat still doesn’t kick on, it probably makes sense to schedule a service call.

2. Replace your furnace filter

Replacing your furnace filter is by far the most important maintenance task you can perform to ensure your heating (and cooling) system runs efficiently year-round. The furnace filter will either be located in the blower compartment of the furnace or built into the ductwork before the blower fan.

If you aren’t sure where yours is located, you can always refer to the manual that came with your unit (the manual will also specify the filter size you need to purchase). You will want to check the filter on a monthly basis and replace it every 60-90 days as needed. A clogged furnace filter could lead to dust or debris getting into your heating system, which could ultimately shorten the lifespan of your furnace and reduce the air quality within your home.

3. Get your ducts checked

A furnace is a big investment and you don’t want it to have to work harder than it already does. To prevent this, you should get your ducts checked every Fall by a trusted HVAC technician. Debris can build up in your ducts and they can become loose, disconnected, or develop small cracks, which can prevent the heat your furnace is pushing out from reaching all aspects of your home.

4. Safety comes first – time for some Fall cleaning!

Clutter is the last thing you want near your heating unit. Not only can clutter block airflow, but it can actually be a potential fire hazard. Before winter comes, take the time to remove all clutter that is either touching the furnace or in the area surrounding the furnace.

You should also double-check all registers and return air vents in your home to ensure there is nothing on them or touching them that could potentially be blocking airflow. While you’re at it, take a few minutes to vacuum the registers and vents to remove any dust or debris. And while this may sound silly, make sure the registers and vents are open after you’re done cleaning them!

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