The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting crisper here in New England. It’s time to dig out your winter coats and cozy blankets to prepare for the cold weather. But are you making sure your furnace is prepared as well?
We’ve put together 8 tips to help you get your furnace ready for a cold New England winter.
1. Turn on the thermostat
When layers of blankets and fuzzy socks aren’t cutting it anymore, it’s time to turn on your thermostat. Set your thermostat to a few degrees warmer than the current room temperature. In a few minutes, you should hear your heating system turn on.
If you don’t hear any indication that your HVAC system has kicked on, carefully remove the cover of the thermostat and double-check that all the wires are secure and connected. If this doesn’t seem to be the problem, make sure that the power source to your heat system is on. Still not working? Try checking the furnace fan, blower or heat pump. If you’re not sure what those even are, give us a call and we can come to your house and help you out.
2. Change the air filters.
To keep you and your family healthy and happy, you need to clean or change your home’s air filters every few months. A fresh, clean air filter traps all the dust and germs floating around in your air so that your loved ones can breathe easy. Plus, regularly checking your air filters helps your HVAC system last longer. Make it easier to remember by changing them at the beginning of every season.
Depending on your HVAC system, you might have air filters in a vent grill in your wall or your ceiling. Feel free to call us and ask us where the air filters are for your system.
3. Cover the AC condenser.
If you have an air conditioner that isn’t a heat pump, then it’s time to cover it up and protect it from the winter elements like snow and ice. It’s important not to use a tarp for this, because it will trap moisture underneath it, which can be damaging to your AC condenser. Instead, use a board of some sort, or even large plastic trash can lid!
Just make sure that you don’t cover up a heat pump if that’s what you use to heat and cool your home. Only cover an AC condenser that will be shut off for the winter.
4. Clean the heat exchanger.
While many of the other things on this list can be done DIY by the average weekend warrior, this one is a job for the professionals. Schedule an appointment with Evolved Mechanical so we can clean out your heat exchanger. This will involve brushing and vacuuming it out while the unit is turned off and disabled. Your Evolved Mechanical technician will also take this opportunity to inspect the exchanger for cracks or other damage that could lead to a lethal carbon monoxide leak in your house.
5. Lubricate and clean the blower motor.
To keep your heater working well all winter, you need to make sure that the blower motor is clean and lubricated. To do this, you’ll have to consult your owner’s manual to check that your motor does, in fact, need lubrication. If you do have that kind of motor, turn off your machine’s power and remove the cover. You should see caps which cover the bearings. Clean those caps, then take them off. Finally, you can lubricate the bearings.
6. Test the igniter switch.
Depending on what system you have, you might have to relight the pilot light or simply turn on the electronic ignitor. If you have a new system with an electronic ignitor, press the reset button to turn it on.
If this doesn’t work, check your breaker. If the breaker isn’t the problem, you’ll have to call in our HVAC pro to check it out.
7. Inspect the chimney and carbon monoxide detectors.
Chimneys can be home to two different pests–carbon build-up and small animals like squirrels, chipmunks, or even raccoons! Before the winter begins, make sure that your chimney is clear of any debris or animals. Every few years have a professional come out to your house and check your chimney. And don’t forget to change the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector, for good measure.
8. If you have an oil-powered furnace, replace your filter and nozzle and check the tank level.
If you have a system that runs on oil instead of gas, you’ll need to change your oil filters periodically. You’ll also want to have an HVAC technician thoroughly clean and brush your heat-exchanger. This will keep your system running efficiently.
Need Professional Help?
If all this seems above your abilities as a DIY-er, give Evolved Mechanical a call. We can schedule an appointment to have one of our licensed, experienced HVAC technicians make sure that your heating system is running well.
Call or email us today to make an appointment!