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How to prepare your HVAC furnace for the winter


Winter will soon arrive, bringing with it subzero temperatures virtually overnight. Keeping your home warm is essential for your family’s comfort, and regardless of how comfy your blankets and fireplaces are, you’ll want to ensure that your HVAC system is prepared to switch to heat.  Now is the time to consider how to perform winter furnace tune up. Here are some things you can do this autumn to maintain your furnace and maintain a pleasant temperature in your house.

1. Schedule a Furnace Tune Up

Wintertime heating efficiency, dependability, and security can only be ensured via maintenance. Contact your reputable HVAC firm in the autumn to arrange a heating system tune-up. Once every year, furnaces and boilers should be maintained, while heat pumps should be serviced in the autumn for heating and in the spring for cooling.

Protect your heating equipment now and in the future with routine maintenance – your furnace, heat pump, and boiler will have a longer lifespan! By counteracting the deteriorating effects of wear and tear and addressing difficulties that lead to inefficient performance, maintenance minimizes the accumulation of damage that may eventually render your system inoperable and need replacement. Through easy yearly maintenance, you may extend the lifespan of your furnace.

2. Change Air Filters

Air filters protect forced-air HVAC systems from dirt, dust, and debris that may cause inefficient operation and internal component damage. Air filters should be updated on a regular basis, which may range from once per month to once per year, depending on the kind of filter used – see the manufacturer’s instructions to discover the replacement interval for your filter.

If you haven’t recently replaced your filter, make a new start for the heating season by doing so now. During the winter, when heating systems are heavily used, it is common for filters to build up quickly and need replacement more often. Make it a habit to examine the filter monthly so you can determine whether a replacement is required sooner than anticipated.

This winter, using a furnace or heat pump with a filthy filter produces a variety of problems that you should avoid. When filters are clogged, they are unable to perform their function, allowing additional impurities to enter the furnace or air handler, where they may settle and build on components, reducing their efficiency and causing damage. A clogged filter prevents appropriate circulation through the furnace or air handler, causing the system to waste more energy as it works harder to circulate air. This may also cause equipment to overheat, leaving you without heat when the system shuts down for safety and perhaps requiring costly repairs.

3. Replace Air Filters

Regularly replacing your air filters keeps your HVAC system free of dust and particles and prolongs its life. The United States Department of Energy considers the changing of air filters to be one of the most essential maintenance chores for maximizing heating and cooling efficiency.

Make it a practice to replace your filters every one to three months, depending on the kind of filter and the environment of your area. A dry, dusty environment may need more frequent filter maintenance than other climates. 

Each air filter is granted a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) grade. On a scale from 1 to 16, the MERV rating indicates how well your filter captures airborne particles. The greater the rating, the more effective the filter and unit are. However, you should not use an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high, since this might limit airflow.

4. Clean the Heating Unit

The homeowner is responsible for keeping the space around the furnace or heating system clean and free of debris. Remove dirt and debris to prevent these particles from being drawn into the furnace or air supply while the system is operating.

Remove any things kept near the furnace to ensure that airflow is not obstructed. At least six feet should be maintained between any combustible materials and the furnace. Do not lean objects against the outside of the furnace.

Ensure that all access doors and outside panels are securely linked to the furnace or air handler; if any panels are loose on certain models, the HVAC system will not operate.

5. Re-Program Your Thermostat

When it is time to switch between heating and cooling modes, you must also adjust the scheduled temperature settings! Different households will have different preferences for heating and cooling temperatures, and seasonal schedule changes may need adjusting setback periods. 

Choose temperature settings that are both pleasant and energy-efficient while the house is inhabited. The ideal temperature to enhance heating energy efficiency without compromising comfort is 68 degrees.

During idle hours, reduce the thermostat temperature by 10 to 15 degrees to save energy and avoid heating waste. A temperature reduction of 10 degrees or more for at least eight hours each day may help homes lower their annual energy usage by up to 10 percent. Your heating system uses less energy, extending its lifespan.

For the fan settings, choose AUTO. This option only enables the fan to operate while the heating system cycles. This minimizes excessive energy use and the sensation of frigid air rushing through the vents while the fan is operating without heat.

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