4 Ways to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter


Summer’s still here, but with the seasons changing, it’s only a matter of time before the first cold winds of winter arrive. At that point, the last thing you need is to be caught off-guard when it comes to your home’s heating system.

Getting your furnace ready for the upcoming winter not only gives you peace of mind during the first cold snap, but it also ensures your heating system is up to the task of keeping your home comfortable. Here are a few things you should do right now to make sure your furnace is in fighting shape later on.

Take Care of Your Air Filter

There’s a good chance your furnace’s air filter is impacted with dust and debris from the previous season. A clogged air filter not only hinders your furnace’s overall performance and energy efficiency, but it can also make your home’s indoor air quality worse by spreading dust, mold spores and other debris throughout your home.

Checking and changing your air filter is one of the most important things you can do to get your furnace ready for the upcoming winter. However, this isn’t the only time you should check your air filter. Most experts recommend that this crucial step be done at least once every three months to keep your furnace in working order.

It’s also important to consider the type of air filter your furnace currently uses. Upgrading to an air filter with a higher MERV rating can help improve your indoor air quality as well as your furnace’s performance.

Check for Obstructions

You’d be amazed at how much stuff can get in the way of your furnace’s ability to heat your home. Furniture, drapes and random clutter can easily block intake air vents, preventing your furnace from getting the air it needs to function properly.

But it’s not just the inside of your home where obstructions can happen. Birds and other nesting animals can make their home inside the exhaust flue, which could prevent your furnace from properly venting its exhaust gases to the outdoors. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to check and remove all obstructions prior to operating your furnace.

Give Your Furnace and Ductwork a Thorough Cleaning

Chances are the outside of your furnace could use as much attention as the inside. Start by wiping down the outside of the furnace with a damp cloth and vacuuming up as much debris from around the outside of the furnace as possible. Make sure there aren’t any items being stored near the furnace, especially those that could be considered flammable.

There’s also a good chance your ducts could use some attention. In addition to checking them for any gaps, tears or broken segments that could prevent heated air from reaching its destination, you should also vacuum as much of your ductwork as possible. This will help prevent the spread of dust and debris throughout your home.

Have a Professional Examine Your Furnace

Although you might be satisfied with the work you’ve done so far to get your furnace ready for winter, it doesn’t hurt to have a professional give your furnace a second look. A trained HVAC technician can spot any problems that you might not have been able to see during your own inspection and make any needed corrections. This way, you’ll have greater peace of mind when it comes to your furnace.

There are also some jobs that are best left to the pros, including labor-intensive maintenance tasks such as cleaning the burners or replacing the electronic igniter. Instead of struggling to do these time-consuming and complex tasks on your own, you’re better off letting a trusted HVAC technician handle the work.

For more tips on how to get your furnace ready for winter, contact the experts at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric today.