Now that Fall has officially arrived, you’ll more than likely start preparing your home for cooler weather — namely, turning your furnace back on to get your heat going. But hold your horses! You shouldn’t (and can’t) just flip a switch and turn your unit back on.
There are several steps you should take before turning on your furnace, such as:
Inspect the Unit and Area
While it’s still off, take a good look at your furnace. Make sure there isn’t any combustion residue on the unit, and clear the surrounding of any objects that could block the unit’s airflow or items that are a fire hazard such as mops or dirty rags.
Clean the Unit
Get out your vacuum and use the detachable hose to clean any dust off your unit — especially the pilot light port and burners. Take extra care to not knock into any parts or cause damage to the unit.
Change the Air Filter
Your air filter plays a large part in your furnace’s function and efficiency — because a dirty filter can greatly inhibit your unit’s airflow. Replace your furnace’s air filter and create a reminder for yourself to change it every month.
If your unit has a replaceable filter, wash it with soap and water, let it dry, and place it back into your unit.
Check the Blower Belt
If your belt has any signs of wear, such as cracking or tears, you should have it replaced before turning your furnace on again. To test the belt’s condition, push down on it with your fingers. If it doesn’t indent slightly, it likely needs replacing.
Check Your Airflow
It’s important to check the ducts and vents that bring air into the rooms of your home. If the ducts that lead to certain rooms are dirtier than others, it could inhibit the amount of air those rooms get.
You should vacuum out your air ducts as far in as you can reach or consider calling the professionals to provide a deeper cleaning.
Inspect Your Exhaust
In order to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home, you need to make sure your furnace exhaust vents are clear of debris or other obstructions.
Test Your CO Detector
You should have a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom, your kitchen, and near the area your furnace is located. While these detectors usually last for several years, it’s very important to test yours yearly to make sure they’re working properly.
Call a Professional
After you’ve gone through these motions yourself, it’s best to call a trusted HVAC professional to provide you with a fully heating tune-up. He or she will be able to fully check your heating system and make sure it’s ready to keep your family comfortable all winter long.
Heating Your Home with the Help of HARP
The experienced technicians at HARP Home Services LLC will inspect your furnace, clean and service the components, identify any potential issues, and advise on recommended solutions.