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End-of-Season Furnace Tune-Ups You Shouldn’t Skip
Think your heater is just about ready for retirement for the season? Think again. We’ve still got quite a bit of winter ahead of us, and the spring can be rather chilly as well. There are some maintenance and tune-up steps you should take even now to ensure your heater continues to work at its best.
Changing the Air Filter
The air filter is a more important component for the performance and safety of your furnace than you may realize. Think about the way a furnace fan works. It doesn’t pull in air out of nowhere; it gets air from the rooms around the house. Chances are, dust and small pieces of debris get picked up in the air from time to time. And when a powerful fan in your HVAC system sucks in air, it could suck up this debris as well. That particulate could pummel the fan unit, causing serious damage—but a filter protects it. However, when a furnace’s air filter gets too dirty, air may not be able to come through at all. And that’s just as big of a problem. When air cannot get through to the HVAC system as it is designed to, you don’t feel enough warm air, and the heating system becomes overworked and uses a ton of energy. Prevent strain to the furnace by changing the filter each month, even if it’s nearing the end of the season!
At Minimum: A Thorough Inspection
Just because temperatures are picking up, it does not mean your furnace won’t run into any more trouble. Potential safety issues, while rare, can affect your home. Unfortunately, the effects can be deadly. Natural gas heating systems produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct of the heating process, something that is supposed to vent to the outside of the home. A cracked heat exchanger or other issue with your heater may allow this toxic, odorless, colorless gas to seep through and into your home. That means you should do two things if you have not already this season:
Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, especially in areas where people sleep.
Schedule a safety inspection for your gas heating system, no matter how late in the season.
Complete Heating Maintenance Service
We often recommend heating maintenance services are completed early on in the heating season—say in the early fall (though this depends on where you are located). However, the unexpected chilly day can come up even before then, when your heater has been out of use for quite a while and you have no way of knowing if something is wrong. Even if it is close to the end of winter, we recommend heating maintenance appointments to homeowners who have not yet scheduled one. This way, you can find out about any potential problems with your heater. You get:
An inspection of the entire system.
Adjustment of some key components.
Cleaning off of the blower and some other parts.
All of this can help your furnace to run more smoothly for the rest of the season, which can help to cut fuel costs. In addition, it may prepare your heater for use later in the year, so there are no surprises and the furnace runs smoothly when you need it.
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