When summer draws to a close, it's time to think about getting your furnace ready for the long, cold winter. Ensuring it's ready to go will save you from emergency repair calls when you flip on the heat only to find the furnace won't warm your home. There are things you can do and other things you'll leave for a heating technician to check and service. Calling a professional for a thorough cleaning and preventative maintenance check before the weather turns cold is a good habit to establish. Here are some things you can do yourself to get your furnace ready for winter.
Check The Ducts
If you can access the ducts in your attic, check them for signs of leaks and damage. If you find a gap or opening in the ducts, seal it with duct tape so that heat doesn't leak into the attic and be wasted. If you find evidence that mice or other pests have made homes inside the ducts, then consider having them cleaned by a technician to sanitize them before air circulates through them during the winter.
Put In A New Filter
Start the heating season with a new, clean filter. The filter in your furnace plays an important role, and it goes beyond blocking dust and airborne debris. While it's important to keep contaminants out of the furnace and out of the air you breathe, the filter is also part of the airflow system in your furnace. When it becomes clogged with a mat of dust, air can't flow through the furnace as readily as it should, and that can lead to a number of problems. Your furnace can overheat and shut down. The strain puts excess wear on internal parts, and expensive damage can be done.
Change your filter often during the winter, especially if you run the furnace for several hours each day. Write the change date on your filter, so you don't lose track, and if you aren't sure if you should change it, hold the filter up to the light to see if it is clogged with dust.
Clear The Registers
Remove the register grills and vacuum them and the duct openings to get rid of dust. Also, move furniture away from floor registers, so they aren't blocked. Be sure there is ample room for air circulation around the furnace too. If you haven't used your HVAC system for a few months, there might be curtains or storage items against the registers and furniture, and these should be cleared away so that air can circulate through the furnace and your home freely.
The HVAC service you call to clean your furnace will get rid of dust inside the system. In addition, the internal parts will be inspected and replaced as needed. Once your thermostat and furnace are checked and ready to go, you can have peace of mind you'll stay snug and warm when the weather outside gets cold.
For more information, contact a company like Environmental Matters HVAC LLC.