Winter is the season with the shortest days and lowest temperatures. The season is often marked by snow in countries that are further away from the equator. In areas that don’t usually experience winter weather, near-freezing temperatures are often considered “extreme cold.” While wearing lots of layers and drinking hot beverages can increase the feeling of calmness and contentedness, turning on the furnace is the key to staying warm in a cold climate.
Today, most homes in the US are heated with furnaces. These heating units work by heating air and distributing the heated air throughout the house. Heat is generated in a controlled manner and is distributed through ducts that deliver warmth to different rooms of a house. This is why, during winter, a furnace is one of the most important components of a house.
It is, however, important to prepare your furnace before winter sets in.
Why Should You Prepare Your Furnace Before Winter?
During summer, a lot of things may have happened which might have affected your furnace. Leaving it untouched during the warm months and turning it on after a very long time can yield an unexpected result.
Suppose it’s the very first day of the wintry season and it’s freezing enough for you to want to turn on the furnace. But, after half-an-hour, you realize you are still cold. After checking the thermostat, you discover that the heat is on but nothing’s happening.
Of course, you may then call an HVAC technician, but if you had thought about preparing your furnace, you could have easily avoided this uncomfortable scenario.
What to Do Before Winter?
Clean the Furnace Room
While it’s important to focus on the major spaces of the house, cleaning the furnace room is an essential thing to do, but most homeowners tend to overlook it. The furnace room serves as a storage room during summer and spring when the heating unit isn’t in use. However, some people have a tendency to fill the room with old and unused items. In many homes in Texas, people used to hang laundry lines or put clothes on a drying rack in the furnace room.
If you want your furnace to operate properly during winter, you need to regularly clean and maintain the room. Take some time to remove all unnecessary items and clean the whole area. You should also dust the area and vacuum the furnace and floor in order to get rid of any dust, dirt and cobwebs that have formed over time.
Perform a Thermostat Check
Are you worried that your thermostat may be on the fritz?
To put your mind at ease, switch the HVAC unit from cooling to heating. If you hear the heat turning on, check if the air is blowing out from the vents. You can also slowly increase the temperature by a few degrees and observe how it performs. But, if the heat does not even turn on, something might be wrong with the wire connections.
On the other hand, if your gas-powered furnace isn’t turning on, your pilot light may have been damaged during summer.
Change Air Filters
Over time, dust, dirt, soot, bacteria, allergens and mold spores may have accumulated on the furnace’s filter. If you leave it as it is, it will affect not only the lifetime of your furnace, but also the health and safety of your family.
If you want to ensure your heating unit’s optimal performance, you need to change its air filters. According to HVAC experts, it is crucial to replace or clean the filters at least once every three months.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
Only a well-maintained and energy-efficient furnace can ensure that your home stays warm and comfortable during winter. So, it is a good idea to schedule an inspection from a pro.