Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?
By now, many of you may have already turned on your furnace. Even though it probably kicked on without a problem, Repair Clinic has a few simple maintenance tasks you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly all winter long:
- Don’t forget the filter
Sure, changing your furnace air filter every six months or so can be a pain, but your furnace and your allergies will thank you for it. A dirty filter makes your furnace’s fan motor work harder, which in turn boosts up your energy bill.
- Check your vents
Go through your house and check all of your air vents to make sure they’re obstruction-free. You’ll want to vacuum the vent opening as well. Just turn off the furnace, unscrew the vent covers and clean the vent using a duster a long attachment for your vacuum. You’ll want to wash the vent covers as well. Replace the covers when they’re dry. Need a new hose or tubing for your vacuum cleaner?
- Clean out the furnace
Don’t put that vacuum cleaner away just yet. Once a year, you should remove the access panels from your furnace and vacuum any dust or debris that might have settled there. Use the long attachment for the vacuum to get the harder-to-reach spots.
- Get your ducts cleaned
This is one to leave for the professionals, sorry! Every few years pay to get the furnace ductwork professionally cleaned, especially if you’ve had a recent home renovation or pest infestation or have allergies/asthma.
- Look at your surroundings
If your furnace is in the basement, that can often be the one part of your house that becomes a dumping ground for junk. Take a look around your furnace and make sure that nothing flammable got put next to it. Find a new home for any other items that may have found themselves stored next to the furnace, it’s not only safer, but it gives you space to do any maintenance or repair work on it.
- Think about your thermostat
Do you hear your parents’ voices in your head to “put on a sweater” every time you go to turn up the thermostat in the winter? They may have had a point! To save money during the colder months, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home and about 7-10°F cooler at bedtime or when you’re not home. The easiest way to manage all of these ups and downs is with a digital thermostat. If you don’t already have one, you might want to replace your old thermostat for a digital one. Your wallet will thank you.
Try to get all of this done before winter truly sets in, that way you can stay toasty all season long without any furnace failures. Curious how your furnace actually works?
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