Prepping Your Furnace For Winter: 4 Tips

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The weather outside is getting colder, which means it's time to turn on the furnace. Before you turn on the furnace for the start of the season, you'll need to do some prep work to your appliance to get it in top shape to ensure it works efficiently all season long. See below for a list of tasks to complete before the season begins:

1. Clean Air Vents

Over summer your vents may have accumulated with quite a bit of dust and other debris. In between seasons is the best time to clean out your vents when they aren't in use. Open up each of your vents and use your vacuum with the extension hose to remove debris. Wash the vents to remove debris from these as well. Don't forget about any return vents in your walls, which can also accumulate with debris.

2. Change Your Filter

Change the air filter in your HVAC system. Open up the front panel and slide out the filter. Replace it with a new one that is the same size. Replacement filters can be found at your local hardware store, big box store or at an HVAC supply store. Simply follow the arrows on the filter and slide the new one in place. Air filters should be changed every other month. Failing to change your air filter could result in a breakdown of your system.

3. Vacuum The Unit

Vacuum the furnace with a shop vacuum or your regular vacuum and the extension hose. With the furnace turned off, vacuum the inside of the unit to remove as much debris as you can. Clean up around the unit as well to get rid of any clutter that may have accumulated throughout the off-season. Your furnace needs room to "breathe", so give the entire unit at least 3 feet of clearance all the way around.

4. Give It A Test Run

Give the furnace a test run by switching the thermostat to the "heat" setting and adjust the temperature. Listen for the unit to cycle and start up. If it cycles continuously or doesn't turn on at all, turn the thermostat to "off". Try it again, but if you still have a problem, call a professional HVAC technician for help. You want your furnace repaired before you actually need it, so you aren't waiting for a repairman and freezing. 

Your furnace will keep you warm all winter long and work efficiently if you prep it properly and have it repaired and inspected by a professional. Call an HVAC technician if you need help with your furnace. Check out a website like for more information and assistance.