When late summer or autumn arrives, winter is not far away. In fact, before long, you may no longer need the air conditioning and it will be time to fire up the furnace. Fall is the perfect time for a pre-season furnace check-up and here are some things you may want to do, to get your furnace ready for winter.
Clean the Furnace
Remove the furnace filter and clean inside. It is best to use a vacuum cleaner and get rid of all the cobwebs, dirt, and other debris. Make sure power is turned off to the furnace and clean inside the control panel if possible. Check for loose wires and damage mice may have done during the summer months. Replace the control panel cover and install a new filter if the old one is dirty.
Check the Blower Motor
Some blower motors need lubrication while others do not. Look at the owner’s manual to see if the motor needs oil and use the recommended oil type. Clean the blower, motor, and around the blower wheel.
Your blower speed may be set on “high” for air conditioning. Heating does not require high-speed air movement and your furnace works best on the medium or low setting. Check the manual to see how to change the speeds or contact an HVAC company for assistance.
Turn on the Heat
Open the windows, set the thermostat on “heat”, and turn it up high for a few minutes. Soon you should feel warm air coming from the vents. You may notice some odd odours at first. Odours often occur when a furnace is sitting all summer. However, the smell may not last long with the windows open. Yet, if odours continue you may need to contact your local HVAC service about air duct cleaning.
What If There is No Heat?
If the furnace is not putting out heat, you may need to troubleshoot the source of the problem. Be sure the thermostat is on the “heat” setting. If you have an electronic thermostat, you may need to change the batteries. Next, go to the circuit breaker panel and check the furnace breaker. It may be tripped or turned off. If the breaker is tripped, turn it off and then on and it should reset. If the breaker is not the source of the trouble, check the furnace components or call an HVAC technician to find the problem.
Points to Ponder
To get your furnace ready for cold weather, clean it and change the filter. Clean inside the control panel too. Clean and lubricate the furnace blower motor when required and look for signs of rodent damage. Turn the heat on to see if it works and open the windows to help get rid of temporary odours from the vents. When the furnace does not work, check the circuit breaker. If vent odours do not go away soon or your furnace does not operate, contact your local heating and cooling service for help. They can clean and inspect your heating system and make sure it ready for the cold weather.
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