It's almost time to turn on your heating unit. And when you do, use these tips for what to look for when firing up the furnace and some maintenance tips, too.
The tips below are from Ken Schneider of Schneider Heating & Cooling, Inc., in Bolingbrook.
1. Check your furnace filter
In order to work well, your furnace needs to be able to breathe. Make sure your furnace filter is clean. A good way to do this is by pulling it out and holding it up to light. If the light cannot shine through, it is dirty. Never run your furnace without a filter!
2. Test your furnace’s operation
You want to make sure your furnace will run before you absolutely need it. Turn it on briefly and make sure heat is coming out of the registers. It is common to smell a brief burning smell the first time the furnace runs after the cooling season.
3. Have your furnace cleaned and checked by a qualified technician
A dirty furnace can have problems lighting and can burn poorly. Your furnace may also be malfunctioning and you will not notice any problems until the temperature outside plummets.
4. Check to make sure the area around your furnace is clear
You should not allow anything to be stored around your furnace. People have had their houses catch on fire from such poor storage habits.
5. Turn on your humidifier
Once you need to run your heat, it is time to use your humidifier. Proper humidity will help you feel warmer, decrease static electricity, keep you healthier, and keep the woodwork in your home from shrinking. When your furnace is serviced, the technician should check the humidifier’s operation as well.
Tips from Lee Webb of Just Right Heating & Cooling
Lee Webb, owner of Just Right Heating & Cooling, said the best way to prepare your furnace for winter is to make sure your furnace is regularly maintenanced. Make sure you do this annually.
Webb said his company will take a long brush to clean into the furnace burners and clean inside the chambers and burners. They will also check for cracks and carbon monoxide. The process will take about half an hour to an hour.
Don't try to clean your furnace yourself, he said, "unless you're really aware of what's going on." If you try, you might not get the parts back in correctly, which can get carbon monoxide into the house and harm your family.
Homeowners should also change the filter every couple months, he said.