What Do I Need to Do Before Turning on My Furnace?

Get Your Home Ready for the Cold Annapolis Winter

As the temperatures drop in the fall, many people turn on their furnaces for warmth only to discover a problem. Because your system has sat unused since spring, it’s possible that something has gone wrong and won’t turn on. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, be prepared and start thinking about your furnace as fall arrives. This will give you time to check the system and call a professional before you need your furnace, helping you avoid the rush of other customers with similar problems. Barstow and Sons is here to guide you through this process and provide service should you need it. Contact us today for more information.

Complete This DIY Checklist Before Turning on Your Heater

Many homeowners like to complete much of the work around their homes themselves. If you fall into this category, we have some advice for you on how to get your furnace ready for winter. You can do your own DIY heater check to be sure your system is prepared to keep your home warm all winter long. We recommend doing this check in early fall, so that you have plenty of time to call us for service if you need it. Follow the steps we’ve laid out below, and you can be sure your furnace is ready for the coming months.

Replace Your Air Filters

The air filters in your system trap dirt, dust, allergens, and other contaminants, keeping them from circulating throughout your home. As these filters collect the harmful particles in the air, they eventually become clogged and need to be replaced. A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder than it needs to and could even lead to more severe problems or system failure. Be sure to replace these filters before turning your furnace on for the season and continue to replace them every three months while the system is running. You may have one or multiple filters to replace, depending on the size of your system.

Check All Registers & Vents

Take a look at all your registers and vents to ensure there is no debris blocking the airflow. It’s possible that an item may have fallen into a vent without you realizing or that dust has built up in the vents over time. Removing any potential blockages will help the airflow freely and better warm your home.

Clear Clutter from Around the Furnace

Your furnace gets incredibly warm when heating your home, and if you have a gas furnace, the pilot light will be burning at all times during use. If you stack items too close to your furnace, it can create a fire hazard. Be sure to clear away any storage items and sweep around the furnace regularly to remove any dust bunnies or pet hair. Even the smallest amount of tinder could be enough to start a fire.

Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, you want to be sure you have proper safety measures that will alert you of high carbon monoxide levels, as this could save your life. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas produced during the combustion of fuels and can be deadly if inhaled. Take this time to check that all your carbon monoxide detectors are working or invest in some if your home doesn’t have any.

Vacuum Any Accessible Areas

Use your vacuum to clean any accessible areas of your furnace. You can use the hose and brush attachment to gently clean the outside of your furnace. This will remove any dust or other particles and prevent them from getting inside your system.

Test Furnace Performance

Once you have completed all these steps, you can now turn on your furnace and check its performance. Let it run for a full cycle and listen for any strange noises, scents, or anything else out of the ordinary. If you notice a slight burning smell, it may just be that the dust that has settled inside your ductwork is heating up. However, if this smell persists after running for one or two cycles, you should turn off the system and call a professional, as something else could be wrong. The same goes for if you notice anything else unusual. It’s best to have a professional take a look.

Call a Professional for a Tune-Up

Even after you have completed this checklist, you’ll still want to call a professional for a furnace tune-up. This checklist is merely a way to ensure your system is at least ready to turn on, but even the most thorough list isn’t as good as the eye of a trained professional. The team at Barstow and Sons will ensure that your system is safe and ready to work efficiently for the rest of the winter. We’ll also be able to identify any potential problems and take care of them, so you don’t encounter a breakdown in the middle of January. Please reach out to us today to schedule your furnace inspection or any other HVAC service.

 

 

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