STOP! Don’t turn the heat on just yet!
As the temperatures in Maryland start to drop, you may think it’s time to fire up the furnace to keep yourself and your family warm.
Read this and follow these steps before you start using your heating system to avoid causing problems that could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
Get a Furnace Inspection
The first thing you’ll want to do to make sure your furnace is ready to keep your family warm is to have a professional HVAC inspection performed. This will catch a small problem before it becomes a big one.
Clear Out the Area
Once your furnace gets the “all-clear,” you’ll want to make sure the room it’s in is ready for it as well.
There are three things to watch for when preparing your furnace room for winter:
- Sufficient airflow to the furnace
- Flammable objects are away from the sides of the furnace
- Highly-flammable chemicals are stored in another room
Be sure to come back and do this step again at the end of the process to make sure no cleaning rags or papers were left on or near the furnace.
Replace or Clean the Filter
Reusable filters can be cleaned first with a vacuum cleaner and then with soap and water. To replace your filter, find the size listed on the filter, furnace, or in your furnace’s owner’s manual.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Because they’ve been unused for so many months, your air ducts have collected dust along with pollen and other allergens.
In most cases, you can simply clean the vents by reaching in as far as you can with a damp rag. However, if it’s been a while since you had the whole system professionally cleaned, you may want to have that done instead.
Flush the Drain Line
The drain line can become clogged with bacteria which can cause it to back up into your furnace. To prevent this, remove it from your furnace, flush it with a 25% bleach solution, then plenty of warm water.
Clear the Chimney or Exhaust Vent
The next thing you want to check is your chimney or exhaust vent. This is where hot air escapes from your furnace and is also a favorite nesting spot for birds and other animals.
Make sure there’s good airflow leaving your furnace to prevent it from overheating and causing a house fire.
Test Your Detectors
While you’re checking your furnace, you’ll also want to test and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector and your smoke detector. These are often overlooked in home maintenance despite being designed to save your life.
Need Help Before You Turn the Heat On?
Now you know some of the most important steps you should be taking before you turn the heat on for the first time. As you can see, these will help you keep your furnace running efficiently and could prevent a house fire.
If you’re ready to have your furnace and HVAC system professionally inspected to ensure it’s ready for winter, contact us today. We would love to help you keep your family safe and warm this year.