October, the month of carving pumpkins and enjoying autumn foliage, is also the perfect time to make sure your furnace is ready for another winter. The sun may be shining and your thermostat may still be set for warmer weather, but as the days get shorter and that chill creeps into the air, you know those cold temperatures are not far off. Here are a few simple maintenance items you can do to ensure that your furnace will work properly all winter long. Taking care of these before the ghosts and witches arrive on your doorstep will go a long way toward keeping the goblins out of your heating system.
1. Make sure the thermostat is working properly.
Switch the thermostat setting from cooling to heating. Check that the fan is set to AUTO. Raise the temperature setting a couple of degrees higher than the current room temperature; the heat should kick on within about minute. If it doesn’t come on, remove the thermostat cover to check the wire connections. (Before making any adjustments to the wires, turn the power off to the unit.) Tighten any loose connections. If that doesn’t do the trick, or if the connections were already secure, make sure the power source to the HVAC system is turned on and working.
2. Change the furnace filter.
This is probably the simplest and most important maintenance task you can do to keep your furnace working properly and efficiently. Stock up now on new filters for the heating season so you have them ready to go. Check the filter every month, and replace it with a new one every 30-60 days as needed. A clogged furnace filter allows dust, dirt and debris to get into your system, causing unnecessary wear and tear on the components, increasing the chance of breakdowns, shortening the life of the equipment, worsening indoor air quality and compromising your system’s efficiency.
3. Remove any items stored near the furnace, air ducts or return vents.
Storing items around the furnace can create a safety hazard and keep your system from functioning properly. Your HVAC system should be free of anything that blocks airflow. Resist the temptation to use the space around the furnace for storage and remove any items that have inadvertently found their way into the furnace room or the area right around the furnace. Also, remove any items that are on or in front of the registers and return air vents. Vacuum in and around the vents and registers, and make sure they are open.
4. Have your ducts checked.
Over the spring and summer, leaks in your air ducts can occur if the ducts become loose or disconnected, or if small cracks develop. These gaps prevent heated air from reaching your living spaces. Your HVAC technician can check your air ducts to make sure the heat you are paying for is not being wasted.
5. Schedule an appointment to clean and tune-up your furnace early in the season.
Call now to schedule your annual maintenance check. Your HVAC professional will thoroughly inspect and clean all the components of your system, replace the air filter, correct any problems before they become major issues, and check for leaks and safety hazards. Catching minor repairs early prevents the inconvenience and expense of more serious repairs during the heating season. Regular maintenance improves your system’s efficiency and can extend the life of your furnace. Some manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep the warranty in force.
Keep your home warm and safe all winter long. Contact Indoor Air Quality today to schedule your fall maintenance appointment. IAQ serves homes in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area.