Making Sure Your Furnace Is Ready For Winter

When the weather starts to cool and it is time to start thinking about turning on the heat in your home, there are some things you can do to be sure the furnace is going to run when you need it. The time to make repairs is before you need the heat, not halfway through the heating seasons. Here are some things you might want to consider.

Test the Heat

The easiest way to test your heating system or furnace is to turn it on and see if it is working properly. The system may smell hot when you first start it, but that should go away pretty quickly. It is common that the system has dust settle inside it, and the dust will burn off when the furnace is started. If the system starts smoking and the smell is not dissipating, shut it down and call a repair service immediately. If the system starts up and runs okay, you can shut it off and wait until you need it to get it fired up again. 

Servicing The System

Before the heating season starts, it is a good idea to have a furnace service company come and check the furnace, clean it, and install any new filters that it might need. Along with the basic surface, the service technician can look over the entire furnace and make sure there is not something broken or damaged that might fail later or cause a problem with the furnace as you start using it. Something as simple as a wire that is not in the right place and gets damaged could keep the furnace from running, and with the electronic controllers and igniters that are on the newer furnaces, there is even more to go wrong. A quick check now could save you money later. 

Checking The Chimney

The furnace in your home has to have a clear chimney to get the exhaust gases out of the furnace and your home. It is a good idea to have the chimney checked and cleaned if you never have. While it is less common for a chimney fire to start in the furnace chimney, there can be birds' nests, squirrels' nests, and other obstructions that are built in the pipe during the summer when the furnace is not running. If there is an obstruction, you need to get it cleaned out of the pipe so that the furnace can vent properly. If you do find something in the pipe, you might want to have some screen or mesh installed on the pipe to keep anything else from getting in. 

Contact a local HVAC contractor for any furnace repairs that may be needed.