After being off all summer long, furnaces need some attention to prepare them for the winter months. Along with professional maintenance to ensure safety and efficiency, there are a few tasks to complete around the home to prepare the system. Follow this guide for a cozy and comfortable space this winter.
3 Steps to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter
1. Change the Air Filter
The HVAC filter helps catch airborne pollutants to prevent them from being circulated throughout the home. During the winter months, changing the element is particular important as cold weather prevents accessing fresh, outdoor air. Choose the highest rated air filter that the furnace can handle — HEPA variations can catch up to 99.97% of allergens, dust, and microorganisms. Change it again every one to three months, checking periodically to determine when it’s getting full.
2. Clear Vents and Registers
Adequate airflow is essential to efficient operation. When air vents are closed, it can cause uneven temperatures throughout the home. As a result, the furnace works overtime to try to regulate it, which can result in an increase of repairs and premature failure.
Protect the system’s integrity by taking the time to walk room-by-room through the home and inspecting the vents. Make sure each one is open and move any potential blockages, like furniture. Additionally, make sure all the air intake registers are clear and able to easily pull in the amount of air needed to operate with ease.
3. Test Detectors
During the professional part of the fall maintenance process, the HVAC professional checks the system for safety, including fire risks and fuel leaks. However, it’s still important to have a proper alert system in place in case any issues occur.
Fire and smoke alarms are important for all heating appliances, while carbon monoxide detectors are vital for oil and gas furnaces that could admit dangerous fumes if damaged. Test all the units in the home to make sure they’re working and change the batteries if it’s been more than six months.