Preparing Your Furnace For Winter

Posted on: 14 July 2015

Routine maintenance is important in keeping your furnace running efficiently and effectively during the cooler months. The best time to do maintenance on your furnace is during the spring or summer when it is not in use, so you have time to make any repairs you may find while cleaning. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your furnace for the next cold snap.

Replace Filters

Replace the air filter in your furnace before you turn it on in the fall or winter. This will allow the air to be dispersed throughout your home without restriction, giving you the best value for your heating fuel or electricity as a result. Air filters are relatively cheap and easy to replace by simply sliding out the old one and sliding in a new one. You can buy air filters that help trap pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens, making the air you breath safe and clean. If you use oil heat, the oil filter should be replaced as well. Locate the oil chamber, turn off the oil valve, unscrew the old filter, and replace with a new one. Turn the oil valve back on after replacing the filter.

Clean The Chamber

The combustion chamber in your furnace is the area where the fuel ignites via flame. This is located in the front of your furnace and should be cleaned out yearly. Turn off your furnace before attempting to clean so you do not become injured if the furnace were to turn on. Look for a red or black switch plate near your furnace and flip it to the off position. If you can not locate this switch you can turn off the furnace by shutting off the breaker. To clean, use a wire brush to scrape the sides and top of the chamber area. This caked on soot and carbon can be removed with a shop vacuum cleaner with an attachment.

Check For Wear

The flue pipe is attached to your furnace and leads to the ducts throughout your home so the heat is directed into several different areas. This pipe needs to be checked when doing routine maintenance to make sure there are no holes where heated hair escapes. If you notice a ripped spot, use foil tape to seal the hole. Take a peek at the fan belt that runs within the furnace to see if there are any spots that look cracked or decayed. If the belt seems loose or wearing, replace it with a new belt for optimal performance.