Finishing Your Basement

6 Ways To Prepare Your Furnace For Winter

It may be tempting to ignore your furnace until something goes wrong, but this is truly the last thing you want to do. If you don't properly maintain and prepare your furnace for winter, you may be inviting expensive and inconvenient problems. No one wants to deal with a furnace suddenly breaking down during the coldest part of the year when you need it most. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to get your furnace ready for winter that will help it work well all season.

Have it Inspected

Experts recommend having your heating system inspected annually before you begin using it. A heating repair professional, such as Custom Comfort, will be able to check that your furnace is in great working order and make any necessary repairs or adjustments before they turn into bigger issues. They will also notice and remedy any potential fire hazards relating to your furnace, such as dirty connections that need to be cleaned.

Change the Air Filters Monthly

Your heating repairperson will most likely change or clean your air filter for you, but you will then need to continue to do so once a month all winter. Clean, new air filters have a huge impact on how clean the air is in your home, as well as how efficiently your heating system works. Luckily, heater air filters are super easy to change yourself.

Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

If you've been considering making the switch to a programmable thermostat, the beginning of winter is the perfect time to do so. With a programmable thermostat, you can program things so your heat automatically turns itself down during the day when everyone is at work or school, and then warms things back up in time for everyone to come home. This can help lower your energy bills while also saving you the hassle of having to remember to turn the heat down whenever you leave the house.

Don't Forget to Open the Vents

Before turning on the furnace for the first time each winter, be sure to go around to each room of your house and open all the heating vents. Try to make sure none of the vents are blocked by furniture or other household objects, as this will make it much harder to keep your home warm in the winter and may lead to cranking up the heat and increasing your electric bills. Blocked vents can also result in your furnace overheating, which can cause damage to the furnace and even become a fire hazard.

Check the Exhaust Flue

Near your furnace should be an exhaust flue that goes into the wall and then outside. Open the flue and inspect the exhaust flue to make sure it isn't clogged with dust or debris. You can clean it out with a vacuum attachment hose, or some soapy water and a towel. Next, check the outside end of the flue to ensure there are no tree branches or other debris stuck inside.

Clean Your Heating Vents

Before using your furnace you should clean the vents, since dusty, dirty vents don't allow heat to flow properly and can also cause you and your family to breathe dirty air. You can simply open the vents and suck away dust, pet hair, and dirt using a vacuum cleaner with an extension hose. If after doing so you still notice dust and debris coming out of the vents when you use your heater, it may be time to call an HVAC professional to clean out your ductwork.

By following these tips, you are helping to ensure a comfortably warm and cozy winter for you and your entire family.