Life is full of to-do lists, but some of the most important to-do lists are those that have to do with your home. This time of year, one of your to-do list tasks is getting your heating system ready for fall and winter. While it is probably a to-do task that you don't want to do, it is a task that needs to be done to ensure that you don't find yourself wrapped up in a blanket, freezing [almost] to death, and waiting for a professional HVAC technician to come out to home and fix your broken-down furnace simply because you failed to perform routine maintenance early in the season. So, is your furnace ready for fall and winter? If not, here is what you need to do.
Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up
The first step that you should take to prepare your heating system for fall and winter is to schedule your twice-annual HVAC system tune-up. At this time of year, the tune-up will focus on your furnace. Because you haven't used your furnace in many months, it has had plenty of time to accumulate, dirt, dust, and grime—all of which can diminish its overall efficiency. A tune-up will get it in prime condition and ready to work at optimal efficiency.
Undertake Pre-Inspection Tasks
To ensure your furnace is ready for the HVAC technician when he or she arrives at your home to perform the tune-up, there are a few preliminary tasks that you can perform on your own. Keep in mind that if you do not feel comfortable performing these tasks, then do not attempt them. Instead, simply wait for the HVAC company to perform them during the tune-up.
- Change the Filter – Your filter needs to be changed on a regular basis—ultimately every three months—and checked every month throughout the season when the system is being heavily used to avoid unnecessary clogging and excessive wear and tear on the system.
- Check the Burner Flame Color – If you are using a gas furnace, check the color of the burner flame. It should be blue. If it is yellow, then there is a problem. Stop using the furnace immediately and contact a professional.
- Remove Dust from the Pilot and Surface Igniters – You can use a straw to blow dust away from the pilot area as well as the surface igniters, but make sure that you don't blow too hard to avoid damage and that the power to your furnace has been turned off first.
- Inspect the Drive Belt – The furnace's drive belt should be inspected for damage like tears and cracks, and it should be replaced if damage is found.
Plug Any Leaks and Insulate the Home
All the maintenance on your furnace in the world won't make a difference if there are leaks around doors, windows, and other openings or if your home's insulation is deteriorating. You can use a lighter to go around each opening to see if there are any leaks. If leaks are found, install weather-stripping or apply a bead of caulking. If your home is not insulated or if you are uncertain whether you have the right amount or type of insulation, contact a home insulation professional for assistance. This information varies based on your location and climate.
For more information, contact companies like Northwest Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.