Timberline Blog

5 Steps for Prepping Your Furnace for Winter

October 4, 2022 by Timberline

Winter is coming. That’s not just a catchphrase from a popular show—it’s a prompt here in Colorado to prepare your furnace for all the work it’ll be doing in the cold months ahead. Taking action now helps you, your family, employees, and customers in multiple ways.

boiler room system maintenance

First and foremost, taking a proactive approach to maintaining your furnace helps ensure it will provide reliable, consistent heat throughout the fall, winter, and early spring. It also means you’ll be breathing cleaner air, which is even more critical when you’re probably spending more of your time inside.

And finally, caring for your furnace correctly can save you money—potentially a significant amount of money. That’s because discovering and addressing minor problems (or having a technician address them for you) before they evolve into major heating system issues costs much less than major repairs, part or component replacements, etc.

Ensure Your Comfort and Prevent Unexpected Heating System Costs

Taking the five actions below requires a little time and effort, but it’s well worth it as your furnace keeps your home or business wonderfully warm during cold days and nights. And late summer or early fall is the perfect time to give your furnace some attention.

Do the following:

1. Check your heating system air filters. Furnace air filters do a great job of trapping dust, dirt, and other airborne contaminants when they’re clean. But if they get dirty and you don’t clean or replace them as directed by the manufacturer, they can become clogged. That’s a problem for a few reasons. First, as air forces its way through and around the blockage, it can carry particles with it, which means you’re breathing dirtier air. And second, a clogged furnace air filter makes your heating system work harder, which can stress its components.

2. Test your thermostat and enter/confirm the settings. Today’s temperature control units work so automatically and flawlessly in most cases that it’s easy to overlook them. However, problems can develop in the communication between the thermostat and the furnace. Try raising or lowering the set point on the thermostat and confirm that the furnace responds as it should. And if you have a programmable thermostat, as most homes and businesses do, enter your preferred settings or confirm that those you previously entered are still active. Nothing’s worse than waking up at home or walking into your office expecting it to be pleasantly warm only to find that the thermostat is set much lower than you’d like! In addition, if your thermostat allows remote access, now is a good time to determine if that’s working.

3. Clean your air vents. Most heating and cooling systems take in and put out air using a system of vents. You’ll commonly see output vents on the floor and intake vents on the walls. It’s crucial that all these openings are unobstructed. If they’re clogged by spiderwebs, debris, etc., or blocked by furniture or other obstructions, you should clear them so they can function properly. If you believe the ductwork in your home or business may have a buildup of dirt and debris, it may be a good idea to look into having a professional cleaning company service them.

4. Check your carbon monoxide detectors. Properly functioning carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are a critical safety feature for every home and business. CO is a poisonous gas that’s produced by fuel-burning devices such as water heaters and furnaces. They’re designed to handle it safely, but in rare instances, the gas (as a combustion byproduct) can be allowed into a living or working space. This only happens if the furnace heat exchanger is cracked or if there is a blocked or broken exhaust duct (“flue”) inside the living space. If a leak develops, it’s crucial that occupants be alert by a detector immediately. There are several types of carbon monoxide detectors, each with its own testing methods, but you should be sure to find and test your units following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Consider having your furnace professionally serviced. The steps above are things you can do on your own, and they can help ensure your furnace is ready to function properly when needed. However, nothing beats a preventative maintenance visit from a trained HVAC technician. They can look for and address issues that are beyond the knowledge and skill of most homeowners and business owners. In a quick furnace checkup, a tech can examine and test a wide variety of components and tune up the system to ensure it’s functioning optimally.

Establishing a Rhythm With a Trusted HVAC Company

In the same way that you get an annual physical from your doctor or take your car in for periodic maintenance, you should get into the habit of having an HVAC company like Timberline do regular inspections and servicing of your heating and cooling systems. Very quickly, our team will get to know you and your HVAC system and be able to offer advice and services customized to your needs and preferences.

Plus, if your needs change, you move to a new location, etc., you’ll have a resource you can rely on to install, update or maintain an HVAC system that’s perfect for your new requirements.

And whether we’re servicing your furnace in the early fall or your air conditioning system in the spring, when we leave, you’ll have the confidence that your equipment is in good, safe working order. You’ll also know that you can look forward to no disruptions to the heating or cooling you need in the season ahead.

Contact Timberline Mechanical today to learn more about our residential, commercial and industrial HVAC services. We’re your trusted local source for system installation, maintenance and repairs.

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