With the winter peaking in its full glory, it is time to check if your furnace has what it takes to beat the winter blues. Our in-house experts from Home Comfort Center have listed eight key checks that will ensure that you have no furnace woes all through the winter.
Turning on the thermostat and temperature check
The first step to checking if your heating is working is changing the cooling to heating and setting a temperature slightly above the current room temperature. If you experience the heat kicking in within a minute be assured that your furnace is working fine. If not, you may want to pull off the covers and secure the wire connections. If the connections appear to be snug, make sure that the power source is turned on. If you still find yourself in the same temperature, you can check the furnace fan, blower or the heat pump, although at this point letting us help you with a detailed check up would be recommended.
Changing the air filters
Changing the air filters every few months can help your furnace to produce better results. Make sure that you are regularly cleaning the furnace or replacing it on time. This will help you to keep dust and grime out of your HVAC system – a simple trick to prolong its life and also save on repairs. If you have a permanent electrostatic filter you can even wash and reuse it. Also, remember to change your humidifier filter and set the humidistat if your HVAC has a humidifier. You can easily locate your air filters behind the vent grill in the wall, ceiling or as a stand-alone filter in the HVAC system.
Cover the AC condenser
Cover your condenser to protect it from falling icicles. You can use a large trash can lid secured with bungee cords as a simple DIY method to do this. You may also use a board to cover the fan but stay away from a moisture-trapping plastic tarp. However, if your HVAC is a heat pump, it is best to not cover it at all since it runs all year.
Heat exchanger cleaning
To make sure that the heat exchanger works appropriately, get it brushed and vacuumed through a trained professional while the unit is disabled. We do not recommend a DIY for this particular cleaning as technicians, through their special equipment, can trace dangerous carbon monoxide leaks during the cleaning process.
Lubrication and cleaning of the blower motor
Every HVAC system will have a manual that lists the recommended cleaning devices, lubricants and special tools needed to maintain it. Ensure that you check the manual to assess whether your system needs lubrication. If it does, what kind and what frequency must also be checked. Make sure to turn off the system and clean the caps thoroughly before lubricating the bearings.
Test the igniter switch
If you have an older system, you may have to relight the pilot. New age systems have electronic ignitors which if not working can be reset using the reset button. If your system still doesn’t respond, check the breaker. Call us for assistance if resetting and breaker check doesn’t work.
Examine chimney and carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon buildup in home chimneys or tiny animals like squirrels entering the chimneys can potentially cause obstruction to the efficient working of chimneys. Only a professional can inspect them and replace carbon monoxide detectors to save you from silent killing.
Checking oil-powered furnace
If you are using an oil-powered furnace make sure to top up the oil, replace the filter and check the nozzle regularly.
If this list seems like too much to do, simply entrust your furnace maintenance to Home Comfort Center. Our team of experienced and licensed crew can help you to maintain your HVAC systems efficiently. Sign up for our excellent services today.
Check out our last article and learn about the different types of Heating Systems