Since it's quickly becoming colder in Northwest Indiana, it's time to turn on that heater and start warming up your home and office again.
Before you turn on your home's furnace, it is imperative that you make sure your system is working properly and in a safe manner. Before you turn your heat on, check out these tips to make sure everything is ready.
1. Basic inspection
While the furnace is still turned off, conduct a thorough inspection. The unit should be free of residue and black soot. Inspect the ductwork for loose connections and gaps at branching points and between sections. Seal any openings with metal duct tape.
2. Ensure proper clearance
Remove items from around the base and sides of the furnace. Make sure that airflow is free and open around the vents. Make sure any combustible or flammable items, such as rags or paper near the furnace are moved far away.
3. Clean the unit
Clean the accessible areas of the furnace with a vacuum, making sure not to damage anything and also making sure to be thorough in picking up material and debris.
4. Replace or clean the air filter
If the furnace has a throwaway air filter, replace it with a new one. If you are not sure of the size of the filter, it is usually printed on the side or in your owner's manual. If your air handler or furnace uses a reusable filter, remove the dust from it with a vacuum. Afterwards, remove the filter and wash it with soap and water. Make sure the filter to dry before placing it back in the furnace.
5. Check the airflow to the room
The rooms located the farthest from the unit may feel colder than the spaces closest to the furnace. Following the steps above, you can remove the registers in these rooms and vacuum out the ducts. Reach as far as you can into the ducts with a clean cloth to clean them.
6. Check the furnace exhaust and chimney or vent
Whether your furnace vents out the side wall of your home (via direct vent) or the old-fashioned way through a chimney, check to make sure it is free of obstructions and blockage.
7. Test safety detectors
If you have them (which you should!) replace the batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Test the devices to ensure that they work properly.
8. When in doubt, call a professional
Most major furnace manufacturers recommend that you have your furnace tuned up by a licensed qualified heating technician each year. The service performed by the heating professional will depend on how comprehensive a checkup you request and may include lubrication the gears, checking the unit for rust and corrosion, cleaning the furnace burners, checking the vent system for leakages or blockages and verifying proper ignition, flame sensors, and burner flame.
If you are in need of a proper check up after your initial check, be sure to give us a call, we would love to help you out!