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Checking your furnace before winter is vital—keep your family warm and safe with an assurance of a working furnace and HVAC system. Don’t get left in the cold; make sure your furnace can handle the upcoming winter. 

Turn It On

Turn on your furnace (if you haven’t already done so this season) to ensure that it does power on and runs smoothly. Switch your thermostat to heating and bump up the temperature a few degrees above the current room temperature. If your furnace doesn’t kick on within a few minutes, there may be a problem. Some common furnace problems include issues with airflow, the pilot light, wire connections, the furnace fan, or blower motor. 

Check the Air Filter

Before the busy season hits, change your furnace’s air filter. Many HVAC systems will have a single air filter. These filters should be changed every few months; otherwise, it can cause issues for your HVAC system due to restricted airflow. Restricted airflow can make your furnace work harder, leading to a malfunction or components burning out, plus a higher than necessary energy bill.  It can also be helpful to check your humidifier filter if your home has one. 

Clean 

There may be a few parts of your furnace that need to be cleaned. A professional HVAC technician can clean out the heat exchanger and tell you if he sees any sign of cracking. This is not something you should try to do on your own as parts can easily be damaged and can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your house if not performed correctly. 

Clean the area around your furnace. Keep any debris or other potentially flammable materials a reasonable distance from your furnace. Check this area regularly during the winter to ensure there are no fire hazards near the furnace. 

You’ll also want to ensure that areas around vents are unobstructed and clear of any debris. Ensure that air can flow freely throughout the house. 

Inspection 

Before winter hits, have a professional HVAC technician inspect your furnace to ensure there are no significant issues. Having an inspection and tune-up done before it gets too cold will help you to avoid furnace malfunctions during the peak of the winter season. Being left without heat during a freezing night is not only uncomfortable but can be dangerous. 

A few things that should be checked before winter include:

  • The igniter switch—in older furnaces, an igniter switch may struggle to light the pilot light. 
  • The breaker—if your furnace is tripping the breaker, your blower may be overworking, or your breaker may need to be replaced. 
  • Carbon monoxide detectors—Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Many homes in Utah have gas-powered furnaces, and carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk factor in faulty or old furnaces. Carbon monoxide detectors can help to keep you and your family safe from this unnoticeable killer. 
  • The thermostat—your HVAC system may be working just fine, but if there is an issue with your thermostat, it can make your furnace work harder than it should or not turn on or off as would be expected. 

To have a professional HVAC service technician inspect and tune-up your furnace before winter hits, contact the experts at Black Diamond Electric, Plumbing, Heating and Air.