Getting Your Furnace Tuned Up For Winter
We all have the best intentions when it comes to preparing our homes for seasonal changes. But sometimes life gets away from us before we’ve had time to complete our seasonal checklist.
When it comes to your HVAC system, a little bit of maintenance before the onslaught of harsh weather can go a long way. In the spring, before the heat of summer’s sun, your air conditioner should go a thorough tune-up. In the fall, before the temperatures dip, your heating system should also get a complete tune-up. A furnace tune-up will ensure that it is ready for use to keep your home comfortable and warm for the upcoming winter.
Your furnace is arguably one of the most critical elements of your home. A correctly maintained furnace will assure maximum heat production at the highest possible efficiency and safety level. If you neglect to maintain your furnace, you may find yourself with higher energy bills because your furnace works too hard to output heat. You may also find yourself without heat when you need it most.
Before it is time to switch your furnace on, make sure that you follow our tips to tune-up your furnace for maintenance-free heat all winter.
Start Maintenance Early
A proactive strategy to prevent a sudden furnace emergency on the coldest of winter nights is to administer annual maintenance during the spring, summer, or early fall months.
A simple way to conduct furnace maintenance is to change your HVAC from cold to heat and set the thermostat to a temperature that is a few degrees higher than the house. You should hear your heat turn on within a few seconds. If your furnace does not turn on, check the wires, the power source, the pilot light, furnace fan, heat pump, and blower. To be sure that your furnace is in good working order for the winter, have your HVAC professional check the system.
You will have extra time for repairs or replacement when you proactively maintain your furnace and even give yourself spare time to budget for major repairs or replacement.
Conduct a Visual Inspection
Often our furnaces are often overlooked because they are in an inconspicuous place in the home. When you are ready to conduct your furnace’s annual inspection, begin with a visual inspection.
If you fuel your furnace with gas, the venting pipe needs to be angled and securely fastened to the furnace. You should also ensure that any other tubes or pipes are attached completely and securely. You should also check for signs of algae in your condensate tubes, black soot, rust, and yellow flames (as opposed to blue).
At the time you conduct your visual inspection, also complete a smell test around the gas line. If you smell rotten eggs, your furnace has a gas leak and is an emergency. You need to call both your gas company as well as your HVAC professional.
One of the most important things you can do for your HVAC system is to change the air filter in your air conditioner and your heating system. Schedule a change of filter for approximately every three months to stay on top of the filter maintenance. If you have a reusable filter, wash it and replace it at this time. Your thermostat may have the option to set a reminder to change the air filter.
When a furnace filter becomes full of debris and dirt particles, it has to work much harder to work efficiently. A dirty filter puts added strain on your heating system, which can shorten the life of your furnace.
If you regularly change your air conditioner filter, you can shrink your energy bill by approximately fifteen percent!
Complete a Cleaning and Maintenance Checklist
Your furnace tune-up would not be complete without a thorough cleanse and checkup of your furnace system. Here is a small checklist to work from:
Clean the flame sensor: If your flame sensor is dirty, your furnace will not function as it relies on detecting a flame to function. You will need to unscrew the sensor from the furnace and clean the sensor with a cloth.
Clear the drainage tube: Your furnace produces a small amount of water as it heats. Expelled water becomes steam exhaust, but the power exhaust manifold drains the rest into a drip pan. You can keep your drainage tube clean by blowing compressed air through the line and so forth. You can also choose to pour some white vinegar through the tube(s).
Vacuum and dust: A dirt, dust, and debris-covered furnace will become inefficient. To remove dirt, dust, or debris, repurpose a paint or makeup brush. You can then intricately remove particles that might be preventing your furnace from working efficiently and finally vacuum any of the remnants.
Check your carbon monoxide monitors and chimney: Your chimney can become blocked and cause carbon build up in your home, to deadly consequences. Ensure that your chimney is free and clear of any blockages, and check that your carbon monoxide monitors are powered and work appropriately so that you and your household are safe
Call your HVAC professional: many of the tasks involved in your furnace maintenance are much better suited to a furnace technician. Trained HVAC professionals understand how the furnace works and to clean when they recognize when it is not heating to its maximum potential
Dillon’s Heating & Cooling
A complete furnace tune-up may be challenging without a mechanically-trained technician’s background, especially if you are unsure or uncomfortable with any of these procedures.
You may even wish to hire a professional HVAC technician to come and inspect the work you have completed on your furnace. An experienced service technician’s annual tune-up can help your furnace function at its maximum efficiency and keep you warm and safe in the winter.
Are you ready to have your furnace tuned up by a qualified HVAC technician? Give Dillon’s Heating & Cooling a call to set up your annual tune-up today.