What To Do Before You Turn Your Furnace On This Year?
Cold weather is just around the corner, so you are probably expecting to use your furnace a lot more in the near future. However, before you use your furnace for the first time this fall or winter, you should complete these tasks to help your system run safely and efficiently.
Tend to the Furnace Filter
Cleaning or replacing your furnace filter is the most important HVAC maintenance task homeowners can perform. It’s so important, in fact, that you should do so before you even use your furnace for the first time. With an entire off-season to sit and collect dust, the furnace filter may be clogged with enough dust to block airflow and put extra strain on the blower motor.
Another problem with a dirty furnace filter is that it can’t do its job of protecting the inside of your furnace from dust. Dust that builds up in your furnace can cause overheating and damage sensitive internal components. Cleaning or replacing your furnace filter before you start using your furnace and continuing to do so each month will save on heating costs and extend the life of your system.
Check Your Vent Registers
You might overlook the placement of your vent registers if the weather has been mild and you haven’t had much need for heating or cooling. Moving furniture is an especially easy way to inadvertently block vent registers. To get the most out of your HVAC system, you should check for blocked vent registers and unblock them before you start using the heat.
Blocking vent registers is a problem because it throws off the air balance in your ductwork. Air at a blocked vent can’t route back through your ducts and go elsewhere, so your system has to work harder to force the same amount of air to circulate through your home. Keeping your vent registers clear will restore the air pressure balance and keep each room in your home at the same temperature.
Seal Drafts in Your Home
Drafts can reduce your home’s energy efficiency year-round, but they are even more likely to make themselves known in the colder parts of the year. Sealing drafts around your home before you need to start using your furnace will reduce the amount of heated air that escapes inside, as well as the amount of cold outdoor air that leaks in.
An easy way to detect hard-to-find drafts is to turn off fans and appliances that move air and light an incense stick. Hold the incense stick near doors and windows, electrical outlets and fixtures, flues, ducts, and vents, and watch the movement of the smoke for signs that a draft is present.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Modern gas furnaces are extremely safe, but you should still have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed for peace of mind. In rare cases, deterioration or pest activity while your furnace was out of use could make leakage more likely when you turn it on for the first time this season. Testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before you use your furnace eliminates this risk.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors typically have buttons on them that you can use to perform a quick test of the alarm. If your detectors are wired to a home security or monitoring system, be sure to set the system to test mode or contact your monitoring company before performing the test.
Making the transition to using your furnace regularly isn’t difficult if you know what to do beforehand. Contact us at Baton Rouge Air Conditioning and Heating for more seasonal HVAC tips and quality service year-round!