6 steps to take before turning on the furnace
When temperatures fall, it's that time of year to prepare your HVAC system for the colder winter months ahead.
Before it gets too cold, take the time to follow this checklist of six steps to take so you can avoid costly repairs and keep your HVAC system running smoothly for as long as possible. But before you do, make sure you have a qualified heating and cooling contractor on call, because many of these items can only be performed by a competent professional.
1. Get your air conditioning system pressure checked. Having the A/C pressure checked is important because it will reveal any unidentified leaks that will need to be addressed before the system is retired for the season.
2. Clean filters and equipment. If necessary, cleaning the filters and other HVAC components is important to both the shutdown of your air conditioning unit and that startup of your heating system. Cleaning the debris that builds up in filters, on the coils and on other components of your HVAC system will aid the flow of air, helping it run much more efficiently and smoothly.
3. Replace the air filters. HVAC professionals recommend that you change your filters every one to two months depending on factors such as pets and allergies or every three months at a minimum. Replacing filters is an inexpensive and easy way to keep your system running smoothly.
4. Test your thermostat. If temperatures are low enough, turn the thermostat to heat mode to make sure the system starts up properly.
5. Check doors and windows for leaks. Make sure all windows and doors are sealed properly. Sealing your home from air infiltration keeps cold air out of the house, which can help prevent high utility bills.
6. Check your carbon monoxide detector and change the batteries. If you feel tired or have consistent headaches after turning on your heat, you may have a carbon monoxide problem, which can be life-threatening. Contact a professional to check for carbon monoxide if you experience these symptoms after turning on your heat.
It is important to the health of heating and cooling system to have it checked regularly. Proper maintenance helps ensure that your heating system will start up properly and work all through the winter. Have a professional service check your HVAC system twice a year to ensure that your system is safely running at optimal performance levels.