3 End-of-Winter DIY Tips for Your Furnace

It may come as a shock that the official start of spring will be here in just a few days. The start of this new season means that warmer weather will come soon, and your family’s dependence on your furnace will be less and less as the temperatures continue to climb.

That said, don’t just shut your furnace off and not think about it until the first cool days of fall arrive. Instead, there are a few do-it-yourself tasks that you can take care of now to ensure that your family’s heating system is ready for use again when the weather gets cold later this year. Now is also a great time to get your air conditioner ready to switch on once the weather gets warm.

Tip #1: Do THIS if you haven’t already done so!

If you haven’t scheduled a maintenance appointment for your furnace this heating season, now is the time to mark this item off your checklist. Even though you likely won’t be using your heater much longer this season now that spring is almost here, it’s a good idea to get this unit inspected and cleaned by a professional. This way, it will be ready for use again when fall comes.

Tune-ups are essential for the efficient operation of a furnace. A heating professional will carefully and thoroughly examine all working components of your unit. He or she will be able to pinpoint any problems which could have an impact on your home’s overall comfort, as well as the operation of the system.

Additionally, during a tune-up appointment, an experienced heating professional will ensure that your system is operating safely. This means that if you have a natural-gas furnace, he or she will check for any dangerous leaks, including dangerous levels of colorless, odorless carbon monoxide (CO) gas. If you have a heater that runs on electricity, the technician will ensure that there aren’t any frayed or otherwise damaged wires which could ultimately lead to a fire.

Tip #2: Check your ducts.

Conditioned air from your furnace or air conditioner travels through your ductwork and out through the vents of your home. With the almost constant use of your furnace during the heating season, it’s not uncommon for these ducts to experience some wear and tear. Some panels may become loose, holes may develop, or there may even be an excessive build-up of dust and other airborne materials inside. All these issues could impact the overall comfort of your family since they could prevent proper airflow throughout your home.

Have your ducts inspected and cleaned by a professional every couple years. This way, potential problems aren’t getting worse and jeopardizing your family’s comfort — or your indoor air quality. It’s no surprise that dirty ducts will make it easy for dust and allergens to make their way into your home’s air and cause problems for any of your loved ones who may have respiratory issues, such as asthma.

Tip #3: Replace your air filter.

Many homeowners forget to replace their air filter regularly. The filter is responsible for trapping dirt, dust, pet hair, and other airborne pollutants before they are pushed through your ducts along with conditioned air from your furnace or air conditioner. When the filter is full of dirt, air can’t easily pass through. This could ultimately cause your heating or cooling system to work overtime to move air. That can lead to premature wear and tear on your unit, and perhaps even a breakdown that will necessitate an expensive repair.

Experts recommend replacing this filter monthly, or more often if you have smokers or pets in your home. If you aren’t sure what size replacement you need, check the specs on the side of your existing filter and write them down before heading to the store.

So if you haven’t replaced your filter during the heating season, do so before you switch your thermostat from “HEAT” to “COOL.”

Bonus tip!

If your thermostat operates on batteries, now is a great time to swap them out for fresh ones. Weak batteries in your thermostat could lead to problems with the correct signals being sent to your heating or cooling system. This means that your unit(s) may not be cycling on or off as expected.

Additionally, if your thermostat is wired, you should remove the outer cover and check to be sure that there aren’t any signs of damage. If you detect a wiring problem, call a heating and cooling professional immediately to get the issue resolved.

Don’t forget!

Now that your furnace is ready for its “off-season,” be sure your AC is ready for warmer weather ahead by scheduling a tune-up. At Oncourse Home Solutions, we take the guesswork out of finding a reputable, dependable, and experienced cooling professional who can maintain your unit. When you’re enrolled in our Cooling Maintenance Plan, you’re entitled to one annual clean and check appointment for your air conditioner. Simply call us and schedule a time that will work for you!