October is now upon us and some of the temperatures this week have been closer to summer weather than fall. Don’t be fooled; fall air will become more of a reality this next week and the time has come to take a look at your home heating system and make sure it is in perfect working order for the winter months ahead. The best way to stay ahead of the cold weather is by having an annual HVAC system inspection to make sure your unit is running safely and efficiently. There are many maintenance items that you can do on your own before having to hire a professional and we are discussing those below.
1. Replacing the air filter
You should replace your furnace air filter monthly during the colder months, if not monthly than at least every three months. Having a dirty air filter in your furnace slows down the flow of air, making your furnace run that much harder. If you have a buildup of dust on your filter it can lead to expensive emergency repairs when ignored.
2. Clean out your ducts & air vents
You want to ensure that there is no airflow blockage in your ducts and vents. Use and extension hose on your vacuum or shopvac to clear any debris or blockages. Go around your home and make sure all of your vents are free of furniture covering them, boxes, toys etc. Again, if your furnace is blocked it has to work harder and your warm air will not circulate properly throughout your home.
3. Clean the furnace burners
During the summer months dust can buildup on your furnace burners so check to insure they are free of debris. Also check for any signs of misalignment of the burners or if they have become rusted.
4. Oil up your furnace blower
The motor of your furnace blower plays a large role in how your heating system functions properly. You should make sure that you oil this part once a year, and make not if you hear any unusual noises when you furnace is started up.
5. Is your thermostat operating properly?
If your thermostat is not functioning properly, it could affect the way your heating system works. You need to turn on your thermostat and evaluate how it responds. If it does not start up immediately, you could have a problem. If you have not upgraded to the modern technology of a programmable thermostat and are still using the manually controlled ones, you should consider an upgrade. If you do upgrade to a programmable one insure you get a “set-back” thermostat that allows you to control the heat by turning it back when you are gone and having it start warming up again before you arrive home. This will also allow you to save money on your energy bill by using less heat when you are away.
6. Beat the rush and schedule your appointment early!
It happens every year here at our business, in the fall our schedule books up weeks out for install due to the demand and you always get a few people who are shocked we are that busy. Living in the Midwest seasons matter when it comes to the timeliness of having work completed at your home and that is no different for the HVAC companies. If you are like most of us you know that you need to get your furnace cleaned, but keep putting it off because of the nice days that are thrown our way in the fall. Don’t wait! Call now and set up an appointment to beat the rush before you are on a waiting list.