When harsh winter weather strikes, your furnace should be ready to kick the heat up into gear. HVAC experts recommend performing maintenance checks every fall to ensure your heating systems are safe, operational and energy efficient.
How to get your furnace winter-ready:
For your safety, always shut off the power before tinkering inside your HVAC systems.
- Clean or replace filters. Ideally, your furnace filters should be replaced every three months (or earlier, depending on usage). Make sure your filters are free of dust and debris to improve your home’s air quality and ensure your heating system runs efficiently.
- Clear burners of dust and debris. Dust and debris tend to accumulate in and around your furnace as it lies dormant throughout the summer. Carefully clean your burners using a damp rag and check for any signs of rust.
- Oil motor and check blower belt. The motor and blower belt represent the backbone of your heating system. They’re responsible for distributing warm air throughout your home, so it’s imperative that they’re kept in pristine condition. Check the belt for fraying or other signs of wear, and make sure to oil motor components at least once a year. A well-oiled machine is guaranteed to operate smoothly.
- Keep heating vents and furnace area clear. Blocked heating vents and furnace areas prevent heat from circulating throughout your home and create a genuine fire hazard. When warm air doesn’t have an appropriate channel to escape from, your furnace overheats. Make sure to reconfigure furniture and clear away clutter around your heating vents before reviving your furnace for the winter.
- Ensure thermostat is in working order. Turn your thermostat onto heat mode and change the set point to a few degrees higher than it currently is in the room. If you don’t hear the heat kick on within a minute, pull off the cover and make sure the wire connections are secure (if you feel comfortable doing so). If the connections are snug, make sure the power source to the HVAC system is turned on. If it’s still not working, you could check the fuse on the furnace board — but it likely makes better sense to call in a professional.
- Call in the professionals for routine inspection. Regular tune-ups and repairs are essential to identify cracked or corroded components, detect gas leaks, improve air quality and reduce energy bills. Hiring a professional heating contractor is your best bet to avoid unexpected problems with your furnace in the dead of winter.
Please note: if you have a Liberty thermostat, there is an automatic rule set-up that will turn your furnace off if the smoke detector goes into alarm. You can turn this rule off through the Liberty Live mobile app. Click here to learn more about setting up thermostat schedules.
Written by Ryan May & Candice Mendoza