Is your furnace winter ready?

Winter is now upon us, and you have probably gathered the things you need to make sure you stay warm; winter jackets, toques, and boots. But is your HVAC system ready for the arriving cold? Just like we have our own preparations for winter, so does your furnace. Here are a few tips to get you started in ensuring your HVAC system is prepared to keep you and your family warm all through the winter months.

1. Turn your furnace’s thermostat to heat

The most obvious of places to start with your furnace is remembering to turn your thermostat from “cooling” to “heat”. To test your thermostat to ensure it’s connected to your furnace, adjust the temperature to a few degrees higher than the current room temperature. This should cause the furnace to kick in immediately. If you don’t hear your HVAC, try pulling your thermostat cover off and making sure the wire connection is secure. If it’s not the connections, check that the power source to your HVAC system is turned on. If it’s still not working, it’s at this point that it makes most sense to contact Sterling Plumbing, or another professional.

2. Check your furnace air filters

You’ve probably heard this hundreds of times – change your air filters! Usually located behind a vent grill in the wall or ceiling, or just in the HVAC system itself, are filters that need to be changed out every few months. Cleaning these air filters regularly keeps particles out of your HVAC and will prolong the life of your furnace.

3. Cover your AC condenser

In order to protect your AC unit from falling icicles and other snow-related complications, cover your condenser during the winter months. Anything flat like a board that can be secured will work in protecting the fan on your AC unit. This will ensure you minimize issues next season when preparing for the summer months!
House Air Conditioning Unit Covered In Snow During Winter Concept Of Home Air Conditioning

4. Clean your furnace heat exchanger

If you can have your heat exchanger looked annually by a trained professional this will further ensure the longevity of your HVAC system. A professional will look for cracks in the furnace unit that could lead to a very dangerous carbon monoxide leak within your home.

5. Test your furnace igniter switch

Older HVAC systems operate with a pilot light. In some cases, you may need to relight the pilot yourself. In newer systems you’ll have electronic ignitors. If the ignitor isn’t working properly, push the reset button, if that doesn’t automatically fix the issue, it’s time to call a professional at Sterling Plumbing.

6. If you have an oil-powered furnace, replace your filter and nozzle and check the tank level.

Oil units require oil filter changes, burner nozzle cleaning, and rigorous heat-exchanger brushing compared to their gas-fired counterparts. Make sure to inspect these annually to ensure your oil-powered furnace is running efficiently as oil doesn’t burn as cleanly as gas. It’s easy to miss annual HVAC maintenance when you aren’t sure what to look for. Follow this winter ready furnace check-list and guarantee yourself a warm and crispy winter season. If you have more questions regarding your HVAC system or need professional assistance. Contact us at Sterling Plumbing today!


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