Prepare Your Furnace for Winter in 7 Simple Steps

a furnace

Prepare Your Furnace for Winter in 7 Simple Steps

The need for a sweatshirt after five pm and the dew on the lawn in the morning can only mean one thing: winter is almost here. Colder weather means that your heating system will soon be going into overdrive to keep your home and your family warm. Below, we’re going over everything you should do to prepare your furnace for the winter.

Should You Get Your Furnace Inspected?

It’s usually a good idea to have your furnace checked by a professional before it’s put under the stress of heating your entire house for months on end. While it may have only been working to heat water through the spring, summer, and fall, ensuring that your system is running as intended can help prolong your furnace’s life, save money in costly repairs, and prevent your heat from cutting out in the middle of winter.

You should absolutely call for an inspection if you notice any strange noises or odors coming from your boiler, if your boiler turns on and off during operation, or if you notice any leaks around your system.

In addition to checking for sounds, smells, and leaks, follow the below seven steps to prepare your furnace properly for winter.

1) Start Early

It’s easy to neglect your heating system when it’s still warm outside. But, beginning your maintenance early will prevent you from having to walk through these steps in the dead of winter when your system cuts out. Trust us on this one!

2) Do the Eye (and Nose) Test

This step is simple and just involves visually inspecting your system. You should be checking for any disconnected wires or piping and any apparent gaps in ducts if you have a forced hot air system. You should also pay attention to any strange smells that may be coming out of your boiler during operation.

3) Clear the Drainage Tube

A small amount of water is a natural bi-product of your furnace’s normal function, and there’s a drainage tube that allows this water to flow into a drip tray or waste line. The drainage tube can become clogged from extensive use, so disconnect it and use a compressor to clear the line before reconnecting.

4) Check the Thermostat wires

It’s common for thermostat wires to come loose even if they aren’t touched for long periods of time. Make sure that these wires are properly seated and connected so that your furnace can fire up properly when the temperature is set.

5) Dust and Vacuum

Next, use a duster on all exposed parts of your furnace to loosen any debris or dust that may have built up, and then vacuum on and around your furnace to remove it. This build-up can cause additional strain on your system if left untreated.

6) Clean the Flame Sensor

One of the most common issues with furnaces failing is a dirty flame sensor, as they can easily become covered in soot or dust. Simply remove the flame sensor, wipe with a clean microfiber cloth, and return it to its original position.

7) Get an Inspection

Now that the easy maintenance is completed, you’ll want to have an in-depth inspection carried out on your system. Having a trained professional inspect all parts of your furnace inside and out can help prevent issues once the cold weather hits. Contact an Air Design HVAC expert today to have a complete inspection done in preparation for winter.