Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

furnaceWith the cooler weather upon us, it’s important to have your furnace ready to keep you and your family warm. A non-functioning furnace or a breakdown is the least that you want to have during this season.

Prepare Your Furnace for Winter by Following These Steps:

  • Clean the Furnace Room. The furnace is usually found in a storage room that gets too dusty and dirty for not using the furnace for the past months. Sometimes the room gets filled with clutter. Remove the unnecessary items and put those that you still need in boxes or a cabinet to store them. Keep the space around the furnace clean. Use the vacuum to remove cobwebs and dirt on the outer surface. The furnace should be visible, particularly all the pilot or control lights.
  • Clean or Replace the Filter. Filters need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. It is easy to forget, but if possible, try to do this once every 30 days. A blocked filter will affect the function of your furnace, taking longer to heat or warm your home. You can also expect your electricity bill to increase when this happens. A washable filter can get hosed down, while a  paper or cardboard filter will need replaced.
  • Clean the Vents or Ducts. The vents or ducts need cleaning, too, because the hot air is blown out through them from your furnace. It should be free of any barriers for your furnace to function well. Thoroughly wipe the exterior surface of the vent and remove any blockages that got caught in the insides of the vents.
  • Check the Fan Belt. The furnace will not work without the fan or blower belt. Examine the tension and look for any signs of deterioration. The room will take time to heat if the fan belt is loose and will use more electricity or gas, which means high cost of utility bills. Remove the cover of the air handler to access the fan belt. Any worn out areas or cracks are signs of changing the belt. If the tension bends a little less than three-quarters, then it is a sign that it has loosened and needs tightening. To tighten the tension, slacken the attachment bracket and change the motor assembly to increase the tension on the fan belt. Fasten the attachment bracket tightly once you can feel the correct tension.
  • Lubricate the Bearings. Bearings need regular lubrication, particularly those in the older furnace as the bearings have several moving components. The bearings will depreciate quickly if these are not oiled regularly affecting the function of your furnace and leading to expensive repairs. To oil the bearings, look for the oil caps over the bearing shaft. Do not over lubricate the bearings to prevent it from being a fire hazard.
  • Close the Blower Doors Tightly. Ensure that the blower doors are closed tightly to prevent heating products like carbon monoxide from getting mixed with the warm air that circulates all over your home.

 

Get your furnace ready for winter. Follow the above steps and you’re guaranteed of getting your home warmed up on a chilly night. If you are having problems with your furnace, call American Air so have your furnace serviced by a professional.