Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

It’s that time of year when air conditioners are turned off and furnaces come on. But before that cold weather hits, you want to make sure everything is running smoothly.

There are some things you can do yourself:

  • Inspect the air filter
  • Keep the area around the furnace clean
  • Do visual checks on the equipment
  • Check for leaks

Inspecting The Air Filter

When it comes to inspecting your air filter, make sure you know what kind you have.

There’s a wide variety of filters, anything from your basic 30-day filter to a 90-day filter. There’s a wide filter that can last up to a year. They also sell washable filters.

Most home filters are made up of a white fabric or see-through fiber glass.

If it looks dirty, it probably is, if you’re unsure, you can always hold it up to a light source and judge by the light that’s coming through it.

If you get a nice clean light coming through, it’s clean. If it looks cloudy and dark, dirt is most likely blocking that light.

If you have a washable filter, it only works when it’s clean. So make sure you remove it several times every year and clean it out.

Keeping the Area Around the Furnace Clean

Dusting the area around your furnace clean can help avoid a lot of issues. A.B. May also recommends vacuuming regularly.

Dust buildup can cause flame signal problems, some dust can get into the motors causing the bearings to get noisy. Dust buildup on a fan blade can make the whole system go out of balance or cause poor air flow.

Visual checks on the equipment

Do check-ups on your furnace when you first turn it on. Many issues are just from the furnace being idle all spring and summer.

Strange noises that begin happening with your furnace are definitely a signal that something may be going wrong. Sudden rust, water pooling around the furnace or humidifiers or excessive vibrations are also indicators that you might need a checkup.

You can also make sure the space around your furnace is clear.

Your furnace is a source of heat generation, so anything next to your metal pipe is not what we want. You do want airflow, so you can pull air into your furnace.

Checking for leaks

Try installing a carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, so when it’s in your house, you won’t know unless you have a detector to tell you you have a problem.

Maintenance is key to keeping your system up and running well.

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