This morning was a chilly one, Alaska! Did you wake up to a cold house this morning or were you ready for the temperature to drop? It’s that time of year where we’re all kicking our furnaces back on and crossing our fingers, hoping they start successfully. Here are some ways you can get your furnace ready before it gets too much colder this winter. Warm wishes to you and your family!
1. Test Your Thermostat
Your thermostat has probably been set to “off” or “cool” all summer. It’s time to turn it back to “heat.” Set it to at least 5 degrees above room temperature and make sure your furnace kicks on after a few minutes. If it does not, you may have an issue with your thermostat, your furnace, or the electrical connection between the two. Check to see if your furnace breaker has flipped and if it has, flip it back to “on.” If not, you may need to call a local, HVAC contractor to fix the thermostat or furnace or an electrician to fix the connection.
2. Get Your Ducts Cleaned
We HVAC contractors are notorious for telling anyone and everyone that they need to get their ducts clean. The truth is, if you have pets, if someone in your home has asthma or allergies, if you recently reconstructed part of your home, or even if you simply live in a dusty/silty environment (*cough* Alaska *cough*), you should probably get your ducts cleaned every quarter to every six months and especially before cold weather means less air circulation between indoor/outdoor and lower air quality.
3. Change the Air Filters
Just like dirty ducts contribute to lower air quality, dirty air filters blow dust and other allergens into your home. They also make your furnace work harder and less efficiently. Change your air filters to ensure a cozy, clean home and a low heating bill during the winter.
4. Unblock the Vents
Household objects can also make your furnace work harder by blocking vents. Remove any drapes, covers, furniture, or other items that may be causing blockage. Also, check the outdoor exhaust flue to ensure it is free of debris.
5. Test Your Detectors
Both your smoke detector and your carbon monoxide detector will be important for protecting you and your family while you are heating your home this winter. Test both of these and replace them if they are not working.
6. Clean the Heat Exchanger
Your furnace’s heat exchanger should be dusted and vacuum. While you’re at it, check for cracks that poise a carbon monoxide hazard. If you have any cracks, take precautionary measures and call a local, HVAC contractor to take a look.
WARNING: If you think there may be a carbon monoxide leak in your home and you or your family are experiencing the symptoms of poisoning, evacuate the home and seek emergency medical attention immediately.
7. Schedule an Inspection – Recommended!
Finally, the best thing you can do to get your furnace ready for winter is to schedule a heating inspection. Your local, HVAC contractor will test everything to make sure it’s working, look for damage, and clean and fix some of these items we mentioned.
We hope that this winter season is a warm one for you and your family! Don’t let an unexpected, early chill catch you off guard. Follow these tips to get your furnace ready for winter. If you need help or would simply like a professional to take a look at your system, give us a call at KLEBS Mechanical. We would be happy to help you ensure a warm and happy winter.