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9 Things You Should Do Before Turning On a Furnace

The end of fall is a clear indication that the inside of your home is about to get intolerably cold if you don't turn on the furnace. Most homeowners simply want to turn on the furnace and begin heating up their houses, but that should not be the case. There are a number of things you should do before turning on the heat for the first time in Winter, as discussed below.

1. Check the filters

When was the last time you checked your air filters? It's recommended that you clean the filter depending on its type and how regularly you use your system. The filter should be free of debris to enable better airflow and reduce the workload on the entire HVAC system. Other than maintaining efficiency, cleaning the filters also improves the quality of air in your home.

2. Switch out old filters for new filters

Experts recommend that you change the filters in your unit regularly (every two to three months). This, however, depends on a number of factors such as how often you use your unit, your household size, medical conditions, and the presence of pets. If there is someone in the household who has a respiratory condition like asthma, you should consider changing the filters more often.

3. Make sure the thermostat is working optimally

Most homeowners assume that the heating system will begin working automatically once the temperature begins to drop. You should, however, test the system to make sure that it's working as expected. Switch the thermostat from cooling to heating, and remember to set the temperature a tad higher than the current room temperature. If the heat does not kick in, consider having the system checked.

4. Replace batteries and test carbon monoxide detectors

The safety detectors should not be ignored when checking the rest of the HVAC system. Therefore, ensure that you have tested the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before turning on the furnace. You should do this while following the directions of the manufacturer. If required, you should also replace the batteries used in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

5. Clear the area

The area around the furnace should be free of any items or trash that could be fire hazards. Be sure to clear the vents of debris as well. As you check the area around the furnace as well as the vents inside your home, don't forget the air ducts.

6. Inspect for leaks

Air leaks can be much of a bother to someone who is trying to keep their home warm. You will have to crank up the heater to stay warm because some of the warm air is escaping to the outside. To prevent this, check your home for leaks, and find ways to fix the affected areas. If necessary, you can get a professional to repair your home so that the warm air stays inside.

7. Duct Cleaning

If the ducts have some dust and grime, don't wait until it's too late. You want to ensure that each component of the system is free of distractions that would reduce efficiency. In this case, you should clean your ducts and vents to ensure that the system is working as expected.

8. Inspect vents outside

Most homeowners focus on the insides of their house, but forget about the exterior. If you've got a high-efficiency furnace, be sure to inspect the intake and exhaust vents to ensure that they are free from debris. Cleaning these vents will not only ensure the optimal functioning of your HVAC system but is also associated with a ton of other benefits such as lower energy bills.

9. Get a professional to clean and inspect your furnace

DIY maintenance projects are often encouraged as they help you understand your HVAC system better. However, you can never ignore the need of having your system inspected by a professional twice each year. Even if everything seems to be functioning as expected, preventive maintenance from professionals can help in prolonging the life of your HVAC system.

In Summary

You now know that there are a couple of things you have to do before turning on a furnace in the fall. The best time to prepare your furnace for the colder months should be before the temperatures begin to drop. During the colder months, you will be glad to have made the decision to prepare your furnace before turning it on!

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