As summer winds down, autumn home maintenance tasks may resurface in your calendar. Prepare your furnace before the cold weather hits to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient. You can complete many heater maintenance tasks on your own, but you may need a service professional for complete cold weather readiness.
Why You Should Properly Maintain Your Heater
Northeast winter weather can turn cold quickly. Without proper maintenance, you risk coming home to a cold house or experiencing a furnace problem when it’s least convenient. Besides poor heating, a malfunctioning furnace may lead to dangerous gas leaks and fire hazards. Properly maintained furnaces perform better over time, are safer, and cost less to operate. Proactive maintenance is an investment in physical and financial health.
Tips for Winter Weather Heater Maintenance
Take the time to complete maintenance activities before the first snowfall. Here are some top tips HVAC professionals recommend for every furnace:
- Replace furnace filters regularly. Filters can improve air quality throughout the house, but they primarily enhance furnace performance. The filter prevents dust and debris from building up inside the blower fan or causing problems such as fire hazards and poor heat circulation. Look for filters with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating that also allow for maximum airflow within the home. Replace filters as recommended.
- Inspect furnace burners. If your HVAC system features a gas burner, inspect the burner before you switch on the heat. Look for dust buildup that may inhibit the burner from working properly or create a fire hazard. Clean the burner thoroughly. Contact a professional if you notice any structural issues.
- Change your thermostat settings from cool to heat. When you’ve completed these basic maintenance steps, switch your thermostat settings over to heat. You may notice a slight odor as the system cranks up for the first time. The smell should dissipate quickly as the furnace continues to run.
- Schedule an annual tune-up. Keep your system running smoothly with an annual tune-up at the beginning of the fall. A service technician will conduct all the necessary safety and performance diagnostics and provide you with an overview of the health of your system.
- Inspect heating registers and air returns. To keep your home evenly heated, remove all barriers from air registers and returns. Keep boxes away from floor and wall vents. Vacuum or wipe away any surface dust accumulated on the registers and grilles.
- Look over the outdoor unit. Intermittently check the outdoor unit for debris and snow buildup during the winter season. Keep the unit clean and clear for improved home heating.
- Lock in an affordable gas rate (if applicable). If your furnace requires gas, check seasonal gas rates early. Lock in a consistent rate while gas prices are lowest for improved savings all winter long.
Preparing your furnace for winter shouldn’t take a great deal of time. A little prep work will keep you warm and snug this winter. If you need help getting your heating system ready for the winter ahead, give us a call. Our HVAC technicians can test your heater and make any necessary repairs before the cold weather hits.