Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

Replace Air Filters

The summertime is hard on air filters. For one thing, high heat means that we’re running air conditioning practically ‘round the clock. For another, summer air quality is objectively awful. If you’re opening the windows at night or on rare cool days to air the place out, or tracking outdoor pollutants indoors, your filters are working overtime. Start the season with a fresh filter.

Time for Cleaning!

Your ducts and vents are probably also in need of some TLC. Even the best filter won’t trap everything, so some contaminants, dust, and pollen bound to make its way through the rest of your system. That goes double if you smoke or own pets. Dirty ductwork and vents degrade indoor air quality, so schedule a thorough cleaning.

If you have a gas-fired or oil-fired system, the heat exchange should also be kept clean. So too should your chimney. You’d be surprised at some of the critters we’ve found nesting in chimneys, and how much of a carbon monoxide danger a dirty heat exchange can be.

Inspect Your Furnace

Key components of the furnace need periodic lubrication. Other parts should be checked for damage. Some components, like belts, can wear out over time and need to be replaced. You should also use this time to make sure the area around your furnace is clear of obstructions or anything that might be flammable. Not sure where to start? Pick up the phone and call us!

Test Your Systems

Summertime is a great time for thermostat problems to “hide.” We’re less likely to notice that the thermostat is stuck when it’s hot enough for the AC to run around the clock, after all. So turn your AC off for a bit, turn your furnace on, and set your thermostat for a couple of degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. You should hear your furnace turn on a short time after, and it should shut off when you turn the thermostat back down.

If you notice any odd noises or smells when your furnace kicks in, give us a call. Some things are innocuous and can be chalked up to dirty ductwork (see above). Others are indicative of more serious problems, and it’s best to have a qualified HVAC professional check the system and make any necessary furnace repairs so you can be sure either way.

Perform a Safety Check

Carbon monoxide kills, and your risk rises exponentially in the winter. Since we love our customers and want to see them happy and healthy, we’re going to take this opportunity to remind you to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors with the change in seasons, and to test both detectors (and remember, hard-wired systems have battery backups — test those, too).

We understand that August might seem like an odd time to think about your furnace. But think of it this way: do you really want to wait ’til the first time you need your furnace to find out whether it’s working properly? Didn’t think so. Call Ace Plumbing now to schedule a furnace tune-up. We can take care of both your heating and cooling systems, getting you in early enough that you’re well-prepared for the season and don’t have to wait behind everyone who procrastinated. Call 916-455-4548 for information, an appointment, or emergency HVAC service.