10 Furnace Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

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It’s still fall, but the cold temperatures of winter are starting to set in, and before it gets too cold, it’s important to ensure your furnace is ready to run all winter long. Whether you’re already using the heat, or are waiting for the cold to really settle in before you turn up the thermostat, these furnace maintenance tips will keep you warm all winter long. 

Check and Change Your Filter 

You should check your filter regularly and try to change it once a month. But, it’s especially important to check your filter before heading into the winter season. Changing your filter before shifting your heater into overdrive will help it run efficiently all winter long. 

Unblock Vents

Whether you like to mix it up and change your interior decor with the seasons or have brought in plants to keep them warm during the winter, there may be new obstructions blocking your vents. Clear any furniture, rugs, plants, or other objects that are placed in front of your vents. Also, remove any objects from around your furnace unit. 

Objects in front of your vents can block the hot air from coming in which is a huge energy waste. Blocked vents require 25% more energy to circulate air. Plus, blocked vents will also creat uncomfortable home temperatures.

Objects around your furnace can pose a fire hazard. You should also clean the exterior of your furnace by removing dust, cobwebs, etc. that may have accumulated. 

Clean Your Vents and Ducts 

Objects aren’t the only thing that can block your vents. Over time dust, particles, and debris gather in and around your air vents and ducts. Too much of a buildup can reduce airflow and block hot air from entering your home. 

You can use a cloth or vacuum hose to clear exterior vents and interior ducts. If your ducts seem excessively dirty, have large buildups and obstructions, or show any other signs that you need duct cleaning, take the necessary steps to ensure your vents and ducts are ready for the winter. 

Test Your Thermostat 

When it comes to making sure your furnace is in working condition for the winter, it’s important to check your thermostat too. If you haven’t already used the heat, turn your thermostat up and listen for the heat to kick on. 

If you don’t hear your heat kick on or you notice strange sounds or smells instead, you should call a professional. Having an HVAC technician inspect your system earlier will keep you from getting stuck without heat when the coldest nights arrive. 

If you’re using an outdated thermostat, this is a good time to consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. Newer thermostats can help you save on electricity bills, increase efficiency, and maximize home comfort. 

Check Your Pilot Light 

While you’ve got the heat on, take a look at your pilot light. It’s a good idea to inspect your pilot light whenever you get the chance, especially if you have an older furnace. Your pilot light should always be blue. If you see a different color, then it might be a sign you need a furnace repair or replacement

Check, Clean, and Oil Your Blower 

Your furnace blower plays a big role in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness, so it’s important to take care of it. Before you get ready to use your furnace every day, take a look at the blower and give it a quick cleaning. It’s also a good idea to lubricate your furnace blower once a year, so go ahead and oil it up for the winter season. 

Remove Dust and Debris from Your Furnace’s Burners 

Over the summer, it’s common for dust and debris to accumulate on your furnace’s burners, so you should clean them before winter sets in. While cleaning the burners, keep an eye out for any misalignment or rusting that may need professional attention. 

Inspect Your Blower Belt 

The blower or fan belt is an important component of your furnace and can be affected by wear and tear over time. To ensure that your blower belt is in working condition, check it for cracks and frayed areas. If your blower belt is cracked or worn, it’s best to replace it.

It’s also important to check the tension of your blower belt, which is more challenging than checking for cracks or frays. Your trusted HVAC technician can take care of this for you during regular HVAC maintenance. 

Clear Your Furnace Chimney

If your furnace vents through a chimney instead of a vent, then make sure to take a look at it or have it inspected before winter. Over time dust, particles, soot, nests, and even animals can gather in your chimney. These accumulations can lead to HVAC problems and create a fire hazard if not taken care of. 

Schedule Routine Maintenance 

There are many ways you can care for your furnace on your own, like by following the furnace maintenance tips above. But, when it comes to your HVAC system, some things are best left to the professionals.

Make sure to schedule routine HVAC maintenance before winter sets in so a professional can inspect your furnace. Professional HVAC maintenance will ensure that your furnace is operating optimally and catch any problems early before they get out of hand. 

Wishing You a Warm Winter from AirXperts 

We’re no strangers to West Virginia winters, so we’re always here to help keep our customers warm. These furnace maintenance tips will help keep your heating system in the best condition. But, if you need furnace maintenance, repair, or replacement, we’re only a call away. Contact us today and see how we can help keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long. 

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