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Preparing Your Furnace for the Winter Season

After months of inaction, a home furnace needs some help getting back into running shape. Dusty, dried-out parts are more likely to break down randomly at an inopportune time if you skip your fall tune-up. Some professional furnace maintenance can even lower your winter heating bills and make your equipment last years longer.

Here’s what every homeowner should to to prepare a furnace for winter, every year.

Clean the Furnace Filter

Get a fresh start for cleaner air and better efficiency with a new air filter. In fact, you may want to upgrade from disposable filters to a washable, electrostatic furnace filter so you can clean it repeatedly over the winter.

Test the Furnace

Make sure your furnace can turn on and off normally. Find the igniter switch and hit the reset button, or turn it off, wait a minute, then turn it back on. Now switch your thermostat to “heat” and set the temperature at least three degrees higher than it is. Sometimes a faulty furnace will heat a little and shut itself off, so don’t just turn it one degree warmer for this test.

If the furnace won’t turn on, check the circuit breaker. When it does come on, the air might have a burning odor for a few moments if there’s dust to burn up.

Schedule a Furnace Inspection & Maintenance

Furnaces should be inspected, cleaned, and tuned up by an HVAC professional on an annual basis. We dig deep to fix small problems before the winter gets rough, preventing bigger problems during freezing temps. A trained technician can test the motor, lubricate parts, examine the fuel valve, and perform many furnace maintenance tasks that amateurs should not attempt. Also important, gas furnaces need to be tested for potentially fatal gas leaks.

Clean Furnace Vents and Keep Them Clear

Even if your furnace runs perfectly, it can’t heat your home comfortably and efficiently if the vents are dusty or blocked. Move furniture away from vents and dust and vacuum as far down as possible. We’ve seen it all—children’s toys, dog kibbles, and giant dust bunnies.

Also, it’s often best to avoid closing vents in unused rooms, because your furnace and ductwork are sized and arranged to perform best with all vents open.

Seal Air Leaks

Do your furnace even better by re-sealing windows and doors, upgrading insulation, closing the chimney, and generally trying to avoid air loss. You’ll cut down utility bills and prolong your furnace if it doesn’t need to work overtime in a drafty house.

Fall Furnace Maintenance in St. Louis

A simple furnace tune-up makes the single biggest impact on the health and performance of your furnace. In Fenton, MO and the St. Louis area, call Metro Heating & Cooling at 314-845-5900 or contact us online to schedule furnace maintenance.

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