Cold weather is almost here. That means it will soon be time to switch over from air conditioning to heat. Depending on your area and climate, winter could be a costly season for you. You may have to keep the heat on around the clock, which can significantly increase your utility bills.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take ahead of winter to make sure your furnace is in good shape. With a little routine maintenance, you can make your heating system more efficient and keep your bills down. You can also minimize issues and prevent a potential furnace breakdown. Below are a few tips to help you get your furnace ready for winter:
Turn on your thermostat. The simplest step you can do to check and prepare your furnace is to simply turn your thermostat over to heat. Adjust the temperature up a few degrees above room temperature. See if the furnace kicks on. If it doesn't, you may want to check the batteries for the thermostat and the wiring. If it still won't kick on, you may need to have a heating maintenance service inspect your system.
Change the filter and clean the vents. Dust and dirt are possibly the biggest causes of heating system inefficiency. Your furnace uses a filter to eliminate dirt and contaminants from the air flow. However, filters get dirty over time. If your filter is dirty, air may not pass through. That means your furnace has to work harder to get your home to the desired temperature. Put in a fresh filter and be sure to change it regularly throughout the winter.
Also, clean your vents and schedule a duct cleaning. Dirt can clog your ducts and vents, making it harder for air to circulate. Again, this makes your furnace work harder, and it boosts your energy bill.
Check the fan belt. Your furnace uses a fan to push air through your home. The fan may be in the furnace or it could actually be on your air conditioning unit. If you're comfortable doing so, open the panel door on the unit and take a look at the belt. The belt is responsible for powering the fan. If the belt snaps, your fan will stop and air will no longer enter your home. Look for cracks, frayed edges, or slack. If any of those are visible, it might be time for a new belt. A heating maintenance service can replace it for you.
You can address all these issues and more by scheduling a tune up with a heating maintenance service. They can inspect all the components in your heating system and take steps to keep it working properly and efficiently.