While the temperatures may still be mild and comfortable in Houston, Texas, we’ve already begun the transition into fall. As winter approaches, now is the time to make sure that your home heating system is in good working order.
Before you turn your furnace on full force this winter, ensure that it’s functioning properly by taking a look at these simple maintenance tips and checklists below.
Furnace system maintenance checklist
- Check all of your safety devices. Your switches should be in good working order and all covers should be in place.
- Check your thermostat.
- Is your pilot light still good? Your flame should be blue, not yellow.
- Check your burners for condensation, debris, dust and soot.
- Inspect the quality of your gas line. Do you notice any cracks, leaks or other visible damage?
- Check your heat exchanger for cracks and damage.
- Check for any loose or disconnected wires.
- Ensure your belt isn’t worn, and replace it if so.
- Listen to your machine for any components that could need lubrication.
- Change your air filter.
In addition to this checklist, here are 3 other steps you should consider before turning on your furnace this fall:
- Remove combustibles from the reach of your furnace. This might sound like a no-brainer, but anything that can catch fire shouldn’t be stored near your furnace. The same goes for your stove, oven and chimney as well.
- If your home has a humidifier, change the water panel. At least once per season, you should change the water panel on your whole house humidifier. This is especially true during the winter months. To get the best out of your humidifier, make sure that the water panel is changed in early fall.
- Change the batteries in your CO2 detector. Once a year, you should replace the batteries in your CO2 detector. This task doesn’t have to be done in the fall necessarily, but it wouldn’t hurt to add it to your checklist.
Basic air conditioning maintenance
While it may seem silly, your home’s air conditioning system also needs maintenance before it shuts down over winter. Below is a checklist for shutting down your air conditioner for the season:
- Shut off the power.
- Use a soft brush and vacuum to clean your compressor.
- Vacuum away the dirt and dust build-up from the outer fins.
- Make sure all fins are straight and clean.
- Replace the air filter.
- Turn the unit back on.
You should also perform basic maintenance to your ducts and thermostat as well, including:
- Inspect for leaks and ensure that sections are connected properly with no gaps
- Clean and check the registers
- Schedule a professional duct cleaning
- Ensure the battery in your thermostat is working properly
- Test your controls for functionality and check the calibration
- Inspect all wires, buttons and knobs. Any that are damaged or nonfunctional should be replaced.