Taking care of your furnace each winter can be as easy as following a checklist, so read on for recommendations for this winter’s heating maintenance.
Clean it, change it, and generally make sure it is ready to go for a long winter of heating your home. Filters should be cleaned regularly throughout the winter, and if your filter is older, you should consider upgrading it since more efficient parts make for a more efficient system.
Have your chimney inspected before the winter months hit, or check for obstructions like nests, leaves, or debris. Check for ash and soot buildup (don’t skip this step—it can be a fire hazard!) and have your chimney cleaned when necessary. This keeps your home warm and safe.
By changing screens for storm windows, replacing your older windows with newer, more energy-efficient options, or even lining your windows with plastic film, you keep your heated air in so your home remains warm and toasty while saving you money on energy costs.
During months of disuse, components of your heating system gather dust bunnies, which can be dangerous as well as costly. Working harder to compensate for buildup, your machines have to strain to do their jobs. Dust and debris can also catch fire, presenting a major hazard. Clean your burners, blowers, air vents, ducts, and other areas to keep things running smoothly and safely. A vacuum can be a great tool for this cleaning.
The Blower Belt
The largest belt on your furnace is the blower belt, and it should be inspected for cracks. If you do notice any cracks, replace it immediately.
The Obvious (Yet Easy to Forget)
Change your thermostat from “cool” to “heat.” While it seems obvious, it’s easy to forget, and you’ll be left wondering why your heating isn’t working. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider getting one, since this is a great way to save on heating costs throughout the winter.
The Professional Inspections
Having a professional inspection done occasionally is a great way to catch any problems that the untrained eye might miss. Some problems, big or small, can be costly down the road if not identified, so having a professional inspect your entire system annually can actually save you money in the long run.
Whenever you buy a new home or have a new heating system installed, it is a good idea to learn about the system, create a heating maintenance plan, and lay out a schedule or list that you follow at the start of each winter. This will keep you on track and prevent you from forgetting an important step that might come back and haunt you down the road.