Oregon has some pretty serious winter weather. Preparing ahead of time can help make sure you don’t freeze during the worst of it. If you’d like to feel more secure, inspecting your heating system is a great idea. That way, if you find any issues, you’ll be able to fix them sooner rather than later. Here’s an easy process to check your heating system at home.
Inspecting the Thermostat
First, it’s time to inspect your thermostat. Set it on “Heat.” A working thermostat should kick on the furnace right away. Once it’s on, stand next to the vents. As long as the furnace is working, you should feel warm air blowing through them soon.
If it feels as though they’re taking too long, your thermostat might be broken. Try changing the batteries, and if that fails, contact a professional to have them take a look for you. Usually, a thermostat will last for a long time, but every once in a while, the device can fail. At that point, you have not choice but to replace it.
Swapping Out the Air Filters
Regularly swapping out your air filters ensures your furnace gets plenty of airflow. Without enough of it, even a working furnace won’t keep the home warm. You should be replacing them at the start of the season each year.
Then, swap them out every couple of months. It’s a simple process, but if you’re not sure how to go about it, we’d suggest getting a professional to do it for you. They’ll make sure it’s done correctly. That way, your furnace will work at peak efficiency all winter.
Securing the Condenser
During the winter, you should protect your AC condenser. It might not be in use, but it’s still vulnerable and sitting outside. Throw a board on top of the condenser. Putting something on top of it will prevent falling items from damaging it. You never know when a huge icicle might drop.
Cleaning the Heat Exchanger
Now, it’s time to take a look at your furnace’s heat exchanger. This is the most important part of any furnace. It’s what allows the furnace to warm up the air. Power down your furnace, and then scrub the top of its heat exchanger. After you’ve done that, you can vacuum it, too.
Keeping it clean prolongs the furnace’s lifespan and makes it more efficient. If you’ve never done this before, contact a professional. They’ll be able to clean the heat exchanger for you. Plus, they can even inspect it for cracks.
Lubricating the Furnace’s Fan
Once the heat exchanger is clean, you should inspect the fan. It pushes air through the furnace and blows it through your ducts. A poorly maintained fan won’t be as powerful. As a result, your furnace might not blow enough air to keep the whole house warm.
Wipe it off with a microfiber cloth, removing any dust that’s accumulated. Then, apply a little bit of lubricant. That will help the fan move freely. Again, if you’ve never done this, hiring a professional might be easier.
Checking on Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You should have inspected the whole furnace by this point. So, the next item on your list will be your carbon monoxide, or CO, monitors. These devices detect if there’s a carbon monoxide leak. This gas can’t be seen or smelled, so having functional CO detectors is crucial.
This is particularly important if you have a gas furnace. Gas furnaces burn fuel to produce heat, releasing CO in the process. A professional can check on your furnace and CO detectors at the same time for you.
Testing Your Hot Water Heater
Finally, now that you’ve inspected the furnace, you can take a look at the water heater. Test its pilot light to make sure it turns on. Plus, you should look around to see if there are any leaks. Leaks are even more dangerous during the winter because they can freeze. If you spot any, contact a professional as soon as possible.
Run your faucets to check whether the water heater is working. Storage tank units might take a few minutes to heat up the water. If you have a tankless water heater, your water should feel warm right away.
Your Expert Springfield Heating Team
At Jco Heating A/C Electrical, we’re committed to serving the residents of Springfield with quality, timely service. We can help you repair, maintain or install the components of your heating or cooling system, and we can even do the same for electrical wiring and components. Contact Jco Heating A/C Electrical today to schedule an appointment.