HVAC experts recommend that you get your heating system ready ahead of the winter months to avoid serious issues, especially during the times you need indoor heat the most. It’s not a huge time commitment to check the state of your furnace—likely only a handful of hours on a weekend—or you can hire a professional to perform a full furnace inspection.
So, what are some of the things you should do before turning your heat on for the first time this chilly season? We’re glad you asked! Here’s some good advice from a heating contractor in Tuscaloosa, AL on how to properly prepare your furnace for winter use:
- Replace or upgrade the furnace filter: The purpose of a furnace filter is to filter out air contaminants when the system is on. That means the furnace filter must be replaced at least once a month (or cleaned if you have a reusable one) to ensure the proper intake of air, because a clogged filter will hinder airflow. Also, you might consider upgrading to a better quality filter to remove allergens and increase the energy efficiency of your furnace.
- Clean air ducts and vents: You can perform very basic duct and vent cleaning yourself. Use a screwdriver to remove covers so you can vacuum out a good length of the ducting. For vents, wipe grates down or use the brush vacuum attachment to remove dust and other debris. If you have floor vents, check for small objects that may have fallen in and remove them before vacuuming.
- Check for duct leaks: Leaky air ducts can mean less heat in your house and higher energy bills. To determine whether you might have a leak somewhere, turn on the heat and check each room to feel if warm air is coming through. Damaged ducts cannot transport heat properly, making heating up some areas difficult. Another sign of a duct leak is dust blowing in through vents when the system kicks on.
- Inspect the fan belt: The fan belt, also called the blower belt, needs to be checked for cracks and other signs of wear and tear. The belt must also be on tight to perform its function. A loose belt contributes to the furnace using more gas or electricity, as well as it taking a lot longer to warm up your house.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Many home heating systems are hooked up to a manual thermostat, which may be okay if you are home to adjust it throughout the day. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can automatically set your furnace to raise or lower the indoor temperature depending on time of day and whether anyone is home to enjoy the heat or not. Also, when you become more energy efficient, you are likely to save on operating costs.
For furnace repairs and maintenance or to upgrade your old ducting system or ancient furnace unit, contact the team at Adams Heating & Cooling anytime. We will set you up with a qualified heating contractor in Tuscaloosa, AL right away!