Autumn is approaching quickly, and that means it will soon be time to turn on the heat! Is your furnace ready for the coming season? There are a few things we recommend doing every autumn to make certain you and your family won’t be left in the cold.
Change your filter.
First on the list is one of the most important things you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly. At the very least, you should change your filter at the start of the cold season. We recommend changing it every three months while it is in use. Keep in mind that not all filters are made equally. You might think choosing a more expensive, high-efficiency HEPA filter is the best option. However, these dense filters can reduce airflow and cause strain on your furnace’s blower motor. We receive numerous calls every winter from people whose furnaces stop working, only to find their filter is blocking the airflow. An inexpensive fiberglass filter usually does the job just fine. If you are considering reducing dust and allergens, we suggest using an air cleaning system instead.
Check ductwork for leaks.
Once you turn on the heat, you should check your ductwork for any leaks or drafts. An easy and inexpensive way to test for these leaks is by using a lit candle. Move the candle slowly along the ductwork to look for areas that blow the flame. You are most likely to find these leaks along joints, and the repairs can be as simple as the application of special metal tape or high-temperature silicone.
Change the batteries.
We often receive calls for furnaces that aren’t working during the winter. However, it might be surprising that more than a handful of those calls are the result of thermostats that need a battery change. We suggest changing the battery in your thermostat at the beginning of the season. While you are changing the batteries in your thermostat, it’s a good idea to also change them in your smoke detectors, and your carbon monoxide detector.
Test operation on a cool day before it gets too cold.
Most of us wait until that first cold night hits to finally turn on our heat. It’s better to avoid having to call out an emergency technician when it starts dropping into the 30s. When the weather starts dropping into the low 60s or high 50s during the day, take that opportunity to fire up your furnace. Check for strange noises or odors when you first start it. A dusty or musty odor is not unusual for the first few days, particularly if you haven’t changed your filter in a while. However, if you smell gas, ozone, or a burning odor, turn off your unit and call in for service right away.
Have your unit inspected yearly.
Having your furnace or boiler inspected yearly is a must. A professional HVAC technician should perform a thorough examination and cleaning of your unit to make sure everything is in working order. This yearly inspection can catch small problems before they become large issues. An annual cleaning helps prolong the life of your HVAC system and keep it running through many winters.
While these five suggestions are a great place to start, we’d like to stress that the earlier in the season you take care of them, the less you’ll have to worry about your furnace breaking down in the middle of a cold snap or snowstorm. Our annual HVAC inspection special runs from September through October for just that reason. Call the PROs today at 303-660-9831 to take advantage of our $89* inspection special!
*A 40% savings off our regular price of $150.