As the cold winter weather approaches, it’s essential to prepare your home to keep your family warm and safe. Your furnace is the most crucial part of your home’s ability to keep you comfortable over the winter. If your furnace goes out during the winter, you and your family could face a dangerous situation. Before the snow flies, you must take the time to ensure that your furnace is in good shape. Bringing in a professional to inspect your furnace before lighting it for the winter can help you spot problems and take on small repairs before they become big problems.
Furnace maintenance should be a chore through all the seasons but is especially important before the winter. This article will explore how often you should change your air filter and some other crucial furnace maintenance tips to keep you warm this winter.
Your furnace filters should be changed at the beginning or end of each season or every three months. Over time, your filters can collect a variety of dirt, dust, pollens, and pollutants preventing them from lowering the air quality of your home. When your filter is dirty, your furnace must work overtime to force air into your ducts to be distributed around your home. This extra effort can result in your furnace overheating along with a rise in your energy bills. High quality HEPA or MERV rated filters provide the best protection for your home and should be changed regularly.
Check Your Thermostat
If your thermostat is set at a comfortable temperature but you are still feeling chilly in your home, you may have a problem. Before you light your furnace for the winter, it’s important to check to see if your thermostat is functioning properly. Setting a programmable thermostat is straightforward, but if your furnace is not registering your set temperatures, it could mean that your thermostat needs to be replaced. Check your batteries, test different settings and switch out any thermostats that aren’t working properly.
The fan system that helps to blow heated air into your home needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Any dust and dirt that makes it through your filter system can settle on your blower and accumulate. Remove the panels that protect the blower system and use a moderate vacuum or damp cloth to clean the pulleys, belts, and fan blades of your blower system.
Your furnace duct system acts as a highway for warmed air to be transported to different areas of your home. Dirt, debris and dust can collect inside your ducts over time. This accumulation can make it more difficult for your forced air system to get air where it needs to go, reducing its efficiency. Using a high powered vacuum or by bringing in a professional team, you should be cleaning out your ducts at least once a year.
Clean Your Vents
Your furnace vents are the openings around your home where your warmed air enters. When vents are clogged or dirty, it can be difficult for your furnace to keep up and your rooms can feel cool. Before you light your furnace, remove all vents and clean out the entrance to ensure that air can move freely into the room.
No one wants to end up with a furnace break down in the middle of winter. By following these simple furnace maintenance tips, you can keep your furnace working efficiently and avoid expensive repairs and keep warm this winter.