Despite the fact that we’re just a month into the fall season, more and more homeowners are beginning to prepare their homes for winter to ensure that they remain warm and comfortable throughout the season. Often, they do this by replacing their roofing systems or even their windows. While these are both good ways to prepare your home for winter, furnace installation pros say that you can also keep your home comfortable by simply starting the furnace back up.
However, if you want to turn your furnace on for the winter, experts don’t recommend just flipping the switch to activate it right away. This is because, since your furnace has been sitting idle for months, it’s possible that something may have happened to it in the interim. As such, there are some steps you first need to follow before activating it for the season.
In this article, heating service provider Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning lists eight things you need to do before you turn your furnace on for the winter season.
Inspect the filters – Before turning your furnace on, one of the first things that you should do is inspect the filter. Remember; you haven’t used your furnace for months now, and as such it’s possible that dirt and dust have gathered in your furnace. If your filter is extremely dirty, it’s best to have it replaced before you use the furnace, as having a dirty filter can affect your home’s indoor air quality as well as the health of those who live in the house, especially if you have children or elderly family members living with you. It can also affect the overall lifespan of your furnace, as a dirty filter can force it to work harder than it should.
Make sure the thermostat is working properly – According to heating and air conditioning repair pros, your thermostat can affect how well your furnace runs, and as a consequence it can affect your home’s overall energy efficiency as well. With that in mind, be sure to first check your thermostat to see if it’s working properly before you turn on the furnace. If you’re uncertain how to do this on your own, however, you can always turn to a heating and cooling expert for their assistance.
Look for drafty areas –In addition to checking to make sure your thermostat is working properly, another thing that you need to do before turning on your furnace is look for drafty areas in your home. When doing this, keep in mind that the places that you need to inspect are your windows and doors. This is because if they seem to be damaged, heat can escape your home, which in turn will force your heating system to work harder than it should and cause your heating bills to skyrocket in the process. If you notice that there’s a draft in your home due to damaged windows and doors, have them repaired or replaced before turning your furnace on to prevent heat from escaping.
Test your carbon monoxide detectors – According to furnace installation experts, it’s not just the thermostat that you need to test before you turn the furnace on; you also need to test your carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they’re still working properly. This is an incredibly important step, as unintentionally using a damaged furnace can release toxic gas into your home, and a carbon monoxide detector will alert you to such a leak immediately. With that in mind, you want your carbon monoxide detectors to be working properly, and therefore, you should take the time to test it first before activating your furnace for the winter. If needed, be sure to add fresh batteries to the device as well.
Remove any items placed near the furnace – Before turning your furnace on for the winter season, be sure to remove any items placed near it. Often such items include trash, old clothing or furniture. This is because these items are potential fire hazards, and it’s a common safety practice to store these items away from the furnace before turning it on. By so doing, you can keep your home safe from a possible fire. In addition, make sure that your air ducts and vents aren’t blocked by furniture either, as this can prevent your furnace from adequately distributing heat throughout your home.
Note any problems the furnace may be experiencing – When checking your furnace, it’s strongly recommended that you do a preliminary inspection of the unit as well. While you’re doing this, take note of any issues that your furnace may be experiencing, as well as the date they started. This way, you’ll make things a bit easier on your heating service provider by being able to provide them with the notes you took when they come to your home to inspect your furnace.
Schedule a tune-up – When caring for your furnace, experts recommend that you regularly schedule a tune-up of the unit. They also advise following a regular maintenance schedule, which for a furnace is at least twice a year. By scheduling a tune-up for the unit, a technician can easily spot and repair any damage that your furnace may have sustained before you activate it for the winter season.
For assistance in tuning your home’s furnace, turn to the heating and cooling experts of Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning to get the job done right.
Get a replacement – On the other hand, if your unit has more than a few decades behind it, it might be more prudent to get it replaced before winter arrives instead of having it repaired. This is because it’s more cost-effective to have the unit replaced, as a unit at the end of its lifespan often needs frequent repairs, costing you a significant amount in the long run. Along with this, an older unit won’t heat your home as efficiently compared to a newer model, which in turn can cause your home’s heating bills for the season to skyrocket.
If you’re looking for someone who can help you maintain your furnace, don’t hesitate to turn to Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning. With over 60 years of experience in the heating and cooling industry, we’re the leading experts to approach when it comes to furnace and air conditioning repair, and you can count on us! We’re dedicated to providing nothing but the best service at fair prices. Give us a call at (440) 946-7863 or fill out our contact form to request a quote today!