Fall is upon us, which means colder weather is on its way. It's only a matter of time before it will be time to get out those cold weather clothes and change the thermostat to "heat" in your house. Before you get to that point though, you should do some prep work to your furnace. See below for some preparation tasks for your furnace before winter is in full swing.
Replace Your Air Filter
Replace the air filter in your system. You should be changing the air filter at least every other month. If you haven't changed yours in awhile, now is a good time to do so. A dirty air filter can cause a block in air flow to your furnace, which could result in a breakdown.
Replace the air filter with a new one of the same size. Replacing the air filter is not too difficult, simply open up the panel, remove the old filter and then set the new one in its place. You can find replacement filters at your local hardware store or at a HVAC supply store.
Clean The Furnace
Clean up the area around your furnace where you may have stored items over the spring and summer seasons. Also clean up pet hair, dirt and dust from around the furnace. Use a vacuum or shop vacuum with the hose attachment to clean up this area. You should have a clearance area around your furnace of at least 3 feet to prevent a fire hazard.
Inside the furnace should also be cleaned, as it can accumulate with debris as well. A dirty furnace may not run as efficiently. Take the panel off of your furnace and vacuum any debris that you can see.
Check The Thermostat
Once you've changed the air filter and cleaned the furnace up a bit, you can change the thermostat to the "heat" setting and test that it is working properly. Adjust the temperature so that the furnace will kick on. Listen closely to be sure the furnace turns on and isn't just cycling. It should turn on, run until the proper temperature in your home is reached, then turn off. If it is turning on and off frequently, you may have a problem. If the furnace doesn't kick on at all, you could also have a problem.
Be sure your thermostat wiring is connected and batteries are in place (if your thermostat takes batteries). Also check that you have it on the proper setting.
If you are experiencing any issues with your furnace or thermostat, it's best to contact a furnace repair company right away before the beginning of the winter season so you aren't left waiting in the cold.