Furnace Maintenance Checklist
Now that the days are shorter and the nights are cooler, it is time to ensure that your HVAC system or furnace is ready for the cold season and switch your HVAC system over to heat.
Furnaces, which are also known as gas forced-air systems, typically don’t require too much work by homeowners, but a bit of preventative maintenance usually goes a long way. The most important thing that you can do is to obviously schedule professional furnace maintenance each year, you can still do other things to prolong the lifespan of your equipment and save yourself money in the end.
The furnace maintenance checklist below should help you make sure that your HVAC system or furnace is in top shape before winter comes.
Turn on the Thermostat
You need to switch your thermostat from cooling over to heating before the arrival of the cold season. To do that, you should set the temperature several degrees higher than the current room temperature and listen to hear if the heat kicks on within a minute.
If it does not and the power source to the HVAC system is turned on and connections are secure, you need to call in a professional. The problem could be with the furnace fan, heat pump, or blower and should be ideally handled by a professional.
Set the Thermostat Several Degrees Back
If you just set your thermostat back 7°F to 10°F for 8 hours each day, you will not only save money, but it will allow you to customize temperature settings at various times throughout the day, meaning that you can use less energy while sleeping or not at home. To do this effectively, you should consider installing a Wi-Fi or programmable thermostat to keep your home comfortable.
Reverse the Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are great when it comes to air circulation throughout all the seasons. In the cooler months, however, it is possible to draw cool air up and force warm air down if you run your fans in a clockwise rotation.
Winterize Your AC Unit
To protect your AC unit, you need to winterize it to protect it from the winter elements, which can allow you to save on expensive repair bills once the warm weather resumes. Unless the HVAC is actually a heat pump, the AC condenser could be covered to protect it from any falling icicles. You can also cover the fan using a board, but don’t wrap it in a plastic tarp since it may trap moisture.
Change the Furnace Filter
An easy, cost-effective solution that can help you maintain your system over the long run is to replace your furnace filter. In fact, by regularly changing the filter you will not only end up saving on heating bills but also maximize the lifespan of the furnace.
You should at least change the filter once the seasons change, but ideally, you need to be checking and changing the filter each month.
Clean the Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger should be examined by a technician each year. During the cleaning, the technician will check for any cracks that may lead to a carbon monoxide leak into your home.
Ensure That Air Vents Are Open and Unobstructed
Blocked air vents will cause the furnace to work harder, and this may increase the system’s temperature as well as the risk of fire. So, remove plants, furniture, equipment, toys, or anything else likely to obstruct airflow before the arrival of winter.
Inspect and Clean Heating Ducts
Damaged and dirty air ducts negatively affect air quality, increase your heating bills, and put stress on your HVAC system or furnace. Inspect the duct to ensure that there are no dents, punctures, mold, mildew, dust, or disconnected parts. While you can examine the ducts yourself, you should hire a professional to undertake maintenance and repair.
Inspect the Carbon Monoxide and Chimney Detectors
Chimneys sometimes may house carbon buildup, which is why you should have a professional inspect them regularly. You also need to test and replace carbon monoxide detectors in your home regularly in the event of a carbon buildup or leak.
Test the Igniter Switch
You may need to relight the pilot if you have an older system. Newer systems, however, typically have electronic ignitors. If you find that the ignitor doesn’t work, you should push the rest button. If it still doesn’t work, try checking the breaker. If both of these steps fail to work, contact a professional to look into the issue.
Clean Your House
When winter finally arrives, you will be spending more time indoors with your windows sealed shut. So, this is the perfect time to rid your home of dust, dirt, and allergens to improve the indoor air quality and create an environment that’s more comfortable for you and your family.
Get an HVAC Inspection and Tune-Up
Annual HVAC inspections and tune-ups are an essential step in maintaining your unit and ensuring that the furnace is ready for winter.