Prepare Your Furnace for Winter Work

Time: 1 hour

Fall’s here. Prep accordingly. Stay warm during the worst weather of the year with early furnace inspections and upgrades.

Let a repair tech handle this work for you, or follow these simple steps to keep your furnace in tip-top shape.

What's in it for you?

  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Snuggly warmth
  • Lower energy bills
  • Extended furnace lifespan

1. Change the Filter

A filter change is the easiest part of furnace maintenance, and easily the most important. Depending on the type of furnace, change it every one to three months to keep air flowing smoothly.

And just any filter won’t do – protect your HVAC system and your health by getting a filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 7 to 13.

When used faithfully and changed on-time, filters keep airflow resistance at a minimum, allowing your furnace to operate at ultimate energy efficiency. Not only will your furnace last longer; you'll pay lower energy bills every month.

2. Clear Your Drains

Clearing your HVAC drains helps prevent condensation buildup from spilling over and damaging your unit or surrounding floors and walls. A few minutes of your time can save you hundreds or more in damage.

Create a solution of one part distilled white vinegar to three parts water. Locate your drain line, and find where it attaches to the drain pipe. There should be a small inlet on the pipe where you can pour in the bleach solution. As it runs through the line, the bleach should clear out any blockages. If it doesn't run smoothly through the drain line, call in a professional.

3. Check Your Vents

Make sure nothing is blocking your supply or return registers. They are sometimes covered by furniture or other household items, especially in rooms that aren't often used. Closing off rooms creates pressure problems, drives up your bills, and damages your furnace.

4. Check the Burners

Turn your thermostat down three degrees and wait for the burner to spark. Remove the access panel door and you should see a row of uniform blue flames. If you note any irregularities, such as flame below the burners, you should turn off your unit and call a professional. You can also check the burners for deposits. Black, crusty film builds up over time and prevents normal operation. You can easily scrub this away with a hard-bristle brush once the furnace is off.

5. Clean and Oil the Furnace Blower

While this job is often best left to professionals, it shouldn't be too difficult for the die-hard DIY-er. Check your owner's manual for instructions on accessing the blower, motor, and blower wheel. These should be cleaned and oiled once a year to reduce resistance.

Generally, you should always start by shutting off the power to your furnace. Remove the blower and separate the motor. Unless your unit is self-oiling, your motor will have two plugs on the top, one on either side where you can add oil. Wipe the motor clean and set it aside. Take the blower wheel from the casing to be sprayed out with the hose or scrubbed down with degreaser. Follow up by wiping the casing dry.

Replace the blower wheel and motor, tighten all bolts, ensure the unit is moving smoothly, and then return the blower and electrical components to their rightful places in the furnace. And don't forget to turn your unit's power back on.

Feeling overwhelmed? Or just don't have the time for DIY? Give us a call at 844-99-SUPER and let us tune up your furnace before the snow falls.

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