Woodstock Heating & Air

Woodstock Heating & Air

How to Make Sure a Furnace Makes it Through the Winter

Looking at the list of inevitable situations for a cold winter, cold weather and snow don’t make it much past number one and two on the chart. Unless a citizen is moving in from closer to the equator or sold their winter home in Aruba they’re likely used to the bitter cold by now. Familiarity doesn’t make it any easier though and it’s still important to stay warm in the winter whether it’s your third one or thirtieth one.

One of the biggest factors in staying warm through another cold spell is the functionality of your furnace. Of course, 24-hour furnace repair is always available but it’s also up to the homeowner to take the strain off the HVAC system. In order to get the longest life out of the heating chamber and Woodstock Heating & Air to make sure your energy bills are as low as possible follow these tips to help your furnace endure another cold season.

Do Preseason Maintenance Check

One way to avoid any surprises with a furnace when the temperatures drop is to perform a preseason maintenance check to make sure everything is in working order and prepared for the bitter cold. The main parts of the preseason check include:

  • Inspection – Before turning anything on or cleaning components it’s best to first do a visual inspection. Look for soot buildup around the base of the furnace and burn marks that would indicate an electrical short. Make sure none of the wires have been chewed through over the Summer and check to be positive all the access doors are in place and working.
  • Turn On – The first time you turn a furnace on before the cold season there’s likely going to be some black smoke emitted through the vents from dust and debris that accumulated being burnt off. First of all make sure the furnace turns on because if it doesn’t there could be a tripped breaker or other mechanical issues. If it does turn on listen for any knocking sounds and make sure the flames in the burner are blue and steady. If anything doesn’t sound or look right call 24-hour furnace repair for a healthy diagnosis.
  • Clean – You can clean the furnace before you turn it on to inspect so less smoke filters through your house but you’ll probably have to clean it again thoroughly before going full-bore for the season.
  • Get a Tune-up – A professional tune-up every couple years isn’t a bad idea to make sure a 24 hour furnace repair service technician gives your furnace a clean bill of health before the cold months. The tune-up might end up costing you $100 or more but it could save thousands in both utility bills and by prolonging the life of the unit.

The time to check for imperfections and malfunctions in your furnace is the Autumn, when temperatures are a manageable 10 – 15 degrees instead of -25. When you perform a proper checkup you’ll have no qualms about that first cold day when the furnace runs consistently.

Clean Filter Regularly

The number one thing a homeowner can do to make sure their furnace makes it through the winter is clean the air filter on a regular basis. It’s wise to swap out filters at least once a month during the peak cold months. Failing to do so makes the furnace work harder by forcing air through the clogged passageways which in turn could burn up the components faster. Plus the furnace will cycle more because the thermostat isn’t recognizing the dirty filter cycle times, thus driving up utility bills. Finally, the quality of air will decrease when the filter is dirty which has health affects to those living in and visiting the home.

Make Sure Blowers and Components are Dust Free

In addition to changing the filters every month, it’s also not a bad idea to clean off the internal components at least once during the winter, preferably at about the midway point. Taking a can of compressed air and blowing out the blower or sucking dirt out with a vacuum will increase the efficiency of the furnace over the remainder of the winter.

Seal Up Cracks and Guard Windows

One of the biggest sources of heat loss in the winter isn’t from the furnace itself, it comes from poor performance from the house. The first thing that loses warmth is an inadequate insulation plan. It’s probably not feasible to add insulation to the home in the dead of winter but it could be a great late Summer / early Autumn project that will show an immediate return of results. On top of insulation a homeowner can ease the stress on a furnace by sealing up cracks around windows and spray foaming the area around doors. Any gaps in siding or where the home meets the foundation should be sealed up before the winter as well to ease the furnace’s job.

Call in Maintenance at the First Sign of Trouble

Another way to ensure the heating unit makes it through the season is by calling in 24-hour furnace repair at the first sign of trouble. Perhaps a furnace that is blowing air that is not as warm as it should be can be dealt with by dressing warmer but leaving the problem go could cause a bigger catastrophe. If anything, it’s better to bring in a professional to ease your peace of mind and to just make sure your heating unit doesn’t break down on a 30 below night.

Know Your Furnace

The final step you need to take to ensure your furnace makes it through the cold months is to just be familiar with how furnaces work. Know where the filter gets changed, know where the circuit breaker is, know the usual sounds it makes when firing up and the average cycle times. Getting intimate with your furnace will ensure that warm fuzzy feeling stays all the way until spring.

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