Switching From Air Conditioning to Heat: Making Sure Your Furnace Is Ready For the Winter Chill
As the hot summer days fade into much cooler nights, it is time to start thinking about the upcoming winter season. Taking a proactive approach, to ensure your home's furnace is ready for the cold months ahead, can help you to avoid expensive furnace repairs and ensure that you don't find yourself without heat during the coldest days of the year. The checklist below can help you to successfully complete the transition from air conditioning to heat. Taking care of these items will make sure all aspects of your HVAC system are working properly, and are protected from preventable damage.
1. Ensure Your Thermostat Is Working Properly and Your Furnace Is Turning On
If your AC is currently running, begin by switching your thermostat from the cool setting to the off setting, and wait until you hear the system turn off. Once you are sure that the air conditioner is off, set the desired temperature so that it is at least a few degrees warmer than the current room temperature displayed on your thermostat. Now switch the thermostat from the off position to the heat setting. You should be able to hear your furnace engage within a minute or so. If the furnace does not turn on automatically, check to ensure the power to the unit is turned on by checking your fuse box, to ensure no circuits have been tripped. If your furnace is getting power but is still not turning on, you will need to call a local furnace repair contractor to have the unit serviced.
2. Be Sure To Switch Out Your Air Filter
To ensure your furnace is able to function properly, and allow for maximum efficiency, you will need to replace the air filter. This filter is typically located either behind the front panel of your furnace, or behind the grate of your main air return.
3. Schedule a Furnace Maintenance Appointment
This is perhaps the most important step for you to take when it comes to avoiding expensive and preventable furnace repairs. As part of your annual furnace maintenance appointment, you can expect that your contractor will:
clean the unit's heat exchanger
clean and lubricate your furnace's blower motor
inspect your ventilation system, and clean it if necessary
and test your furnace's ignition switch.
4. Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
This step is especially important if your home heating system runs on natural gas, or another combustible fuel. A leak in your ventilation system can result in carbon monoxide being introduced into your home's air supply. This naturally odorless gas can be quite dangerous for you and your family. That is why it is so important to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. If this detector ever alerts you to the presence of carbon monoxide within your home, it is vital that you and your family leave the home immediately and contact your furnace repair contractor to investigate and correct the problem before you go back inside.
For more information about residential heating installation or repairs, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.