Your furnace has been out of commission since last winter, so it’s important to bring it up to speed before you start blasting the heat again. If you turn on your heating equipment without taking the proper precautions first, you could face blockages, gas or fluid leaks, unpleasant odors, indoor pollution and discomfort, excessively high energy bills, and even dangerous electrical hazards. Prevent these problems by making sure your furnace is in working order before winter arrives. Just follow these five steps and you will be good to go.
1. Schedule an HVAC Inspection
Regular maintenance is the most effective way to avoid freezing nights, high energy bills and unnecessary furnace/AC repair expenses. Before you make the switch to heat, make sure an HVAC contractor checks out your furnace first. At Metro Comfort Systems, our technicians are trained to keep your system efficient by spotting problems early, maintaining the correct fluid levels, replacing filters and faulty parts and cleaning out loose debris and build-up.
2. Change Your Filter and Stock Up On Replacements
Your indoor air quality depends on the condition of your filter, which traps dirt, dust, allergens and other pollutants before they reach your indoor spaces. Clogged filters also reduce the efficiency of your entire HVAC system. Start your winter with a fresh filter, and make sure you’re ready to replace it throughout the season. Your furnace filter should be checked monthly and replaced every one to three months.
3. Clear the Area
Your HVAC contractor will remove any dust, sludge, or debris inside the furnace itself. However, interior buildup isn’t the only kind that decreases efficiency and increases your fire risks. Before you turn your furnace back on, it’s important to clear the space around it. Nothing should be on top of the furnace, ducts or vents because it will trap heat and gases within the system and cause a serious fire hazard. Any and all flammable materials should also be a safe distance away.
4. Check Your Indoor Vents and CO Detectors
Of course, an efficient and tuned-up furnace won’t do much good if your indoor vents are still clogged. Inspect the registers in each room and make sure they’re in the open position, then clear away anything in the direct path of air flow. You also need to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly in case of unexpected leaks or electrical problems. Change the batteries in all indoor alarms before heating season begins.
5. Test your thermostat and turn on the furnace
After your inspection is complete and you’re removed all potential fire hazards, use your thermostat to turn on the furnace for the first time. This is a test run to make sure each room in the house gets hot air, the thermostat connection is still good, and all temperature gauges are accurate. You might even use a handheld thermometer to confirm this; if there are blockages in the duct work, the smell, temperature or pressure might be inconsistent. Fortunately, you still have time to schedule a thorough duct cleaning.
Our comprehensive local HVAC services include seasonal inspections and tune-ups that prevent costly complications. If you opt for an annual service contract, we’ll come out every spring and fall to make sure your HVAC equipment is ready to handle the extreme temperatures to come. You’ll even enjoy a 10 percent discount on parts. Call us today at 614-760-5883 to learn more or schedule your furnace tune-up.