Prepare Your Furnace for Winter

Sure the weather is still warm in October but you should not wait until the cold weather arrives to maintain your furnace. Through preparing your furnace for winter requires a little effort to keep you and your family comfortable when the cold weather finally gets here. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests checking your furnace before cold weather arrives so if your furnace malfunctions, you can have it repaired before you need indoor heating~ what a concept!
Here are some helpful tips for you:

  • Replace the air filter in your furnace each Locate the filter and pull it out. Slide the new filter into the slot, following the arrows on the frame of the filter.
  • Consider upgrading the filter if your current filter is a flat filter. Upgrading to a pleated filter, HEPA filter or electrostatic filter increases the energy efficiency of your furnace and allows the warm air to flow unimpeded through your home.
  • Clean your air vents and ducts. Remove the vent covers with a screwdriver. Use the extension hose of your vacuum to remove the dust.
  • Inspect the blower belt for cracks. Turn off the power to the furnace at the main circuit breaker. Use a screwdriver to remove the steel cover of the air handler. The blower belt is the largest rubber belt that you see. Replace the belt if it is cracked.
  • Engage your set-back, or programmable, thermostat so it automatically lowers the temperature while you are asleep or away from your home. According to the Consumer Energy Center, you could save from 20 to 75 percent on your furnace’s operating costs by using this type of thermostat.
  • Inspect the exhaust flue outdoors to ensure it is free of obstructions such as branches or animal nests.
  • Keep the area around your furnace unit free of debris and clutter.
  • Open all your air vents. Remove furniture, boxes and clutter that get in the way of air flowing from the vents.
  • Any problems? Call Family Air Cooling and Heating and we’ll get it fixed for you!

Tips from SF Gate Home Guides, Jessica Lietz

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