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Easy and Important 6-Step, Pre-Winter Furnace Check

Many homeowners think checking their furnace for problems is a complex task.  While fixing the actual problems is a complex task reserved for furnace repair professionals, checking for problems is fairly simple.  Using the guide below, we’re going to show you just how easy it is with 6 simple steps.

Image of: diagram of different parts of a furnace.
Source: energychek.com

Step #1: Check Thermostat Settings

Just because your home comfort system works during the summer doesn’t mean it will work during fall and winter.  When furnaces remain unused during spring and summer, sometimes they have a tendency to stop working come wintertime.

To ensure yours furnace still works, flip the switch to heat on the thermostat and set to about 75 degrees.  If you feel warm air coming through vents in your home, your furnace is working.  If it takes more than a few minutes, something may be wrong

Step #2: Check Air Filter

This is the most common cause for limited or no heat.  If your heat took a while to kick on after setting your thermostat to heat, the air filter may be the culprit.  Looking at the diagram above, location #3 is where your air filter sits.  Many air filters are easy to access; however, if you’re having trouble, contact your local furnace repair professionals.

Step #3: Clean and Tune

This is a job for the professionals.  Even if you don’t suspect any present problems with your furnace, it’s good to have your home comfort system cleaned and maintained twice a year – once before the cold season and once before the hot season.

Many heating and cooling companies offer a comprehensive HVAC preventative maintenance plan that keeps your HVAC equipment clean and efficient.  In the long run, plans like these actually end up saving you money.  Neglected equipment is the #1 cause for expensive repairs.

Step #4: Check Register Circulation

Registers are the vents located throughout your house that emit warm air when your furnace is running.  You can see an example of a register in location #7 in the diagram above.

To ensure warm air is free-flowing and circular, place your hand over at least one vent on each floor in your home.  To be extra cautious, check that every register is emitting warm air.  Each register should emit air that’s similar in temperature with equal force throughout the house.

Step #5: Check Return Air Vent Circulation

The return air vent is the air your furnace heats and recirculates throughout the house.  Unlike the registers, it sucks air in instead of blowing it out.  There’s usually only one of these in homes and is relatively large.  To make sure air is returning to your furnace uninhibited, put your hand in front of the vent.  If your comfort system is working properly, you’ll feel a light pull on your palm.

Step #6: Clean Furnace Surroundings

Before you decide to run your furnace consistently during the cold season, clean the area around your furnace.  Make sure debris and any type of flammable material is at a distance.

If you run into a problem during this 6-step check, request heating and furnace repair services from your local HVAC repair company.

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