All Year - How to Prepare Your Furnace for the Winter Season

How to Prepare Your Furnace for the Winter Season

The coldest season of the year is almost here, and sitting by the fire won’t be enough to fight against the freezing weather conditions. It is important to make sure that your furnace system is ready for the winter cold.

How do you make sure that your heating system is ready? Here are a few simple tasks to prepare your furnace for what should be a season of high usage:

Inspect your thermostat.

The first thing you should do is check on your thermostat. Turn it on and switch from cooling to heating, setting the temperature a few degrees higher than room temperature. Ideally, you’ll hear the heat kick on within the first minute. If it doesn’t, there’s no need to panic just yet.

Turn the thermostat off again. Then, pull off the cover from the thermostat and check the wiring system for any loose or dislodged connections. If everything looks connected like it’s supposed to, check on the power connection next. The power source to the main HVAC system should be turned on. If that’s the case but the thermostat is still not working, most likely the damage is with the furnace fan, heat pump, or blower. Unless you have the training to examine and figure out what’s causing those components to malfunction, calling in a professional should be your priority.

Change the air filters.

You need to replace your air filters at least once every season to make sure your furnace is working optimally. The U.S. Department of Energy even says that replacing air filters is the most important maintenance task if you want to keep the efficiency of your heating unit.

It’s easy to find replacement filters at the hardware store, but be sure you have the necessary information before going there. You need to know the exact size and type of your air filter because an ill-fitting filter can not just lead to inadequate heating, it can completely damage your system altogether.

When buying a new filter, you can also consider its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). MERV is a rating developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to assign a filter’s efficiency level at trapping airborne particles. The higher the MERV value, the more efficient your heating unit will run. However, compatibility is still important, as selecting an air filter with a MERV rating too high for your system can restrict airflow.

Clean the vents.

The furnace vents accumulate dirt and debris over time, and once the buildup is significant enough, it can clog the openings and cause system problems by trapping heat inside. However, that’s the worst-case scenario, as it’s easy to eliminate this threat by simply cleaning your vents on a regular basis.

Use a wet cloth to clean the vents of any dirt particles that are starting to settle on the surface. You can also try a cleaning solution to kill any harmful germs or bacteria that might be hiding between the segments. Make sure to remove any potential blockage from the vents.

Test your furnace before the winter season arrives.

It’s a smart move to check if your gun has bullets before jumping to a duel. The same applies to your furnace, it’s important to test if it’s working before the winter season arrives so that if it isn’t, you’d still have time to contact a professional to repair and service your heating system.

Common indicators that your furnace might need professional assistance are abnormal sounds such as banging and rattling, a malfunctioning thermostat, and an unignorable lack of heating effects.

A final word on preparing your furnace

It’s essential that you check on your furnace before the start of the winter season to ensure that it keeps running worry-free in the coming months. The increased usage might prove to be too much for older units, so it’s important to have a professional look at your system so that they can tell you what needs to be done.

All Year Heating & Air Conditioning is the number one HVAC service in the Sacramento area, and you can trust them to make a thorough inspection of your furnace and provide you with the best services at the most competitive prices. Call them now to make sure your furnace is ready to go before the cold weather arrives.

(Source: AC & Heating Connect)