In many homes, the fall season is the first time of year that the furnace sees any use. That's why fall is a good time to pay a little extra attention to furnace maintenance and performance. Here are three tips to prepare your furnace for the fall.
1. Check Your Furnace Filter
If you haven't been cleaning or replacing your furnace filter regularly, it's a good idea to inspect it now before the cold season starts. A dirty furnace filter can reduce the efficiency of your furnace and potentially shorten its life. A dirty filter allows dust to build up inside your furnace until it begins to overheat. Your HVAC system will also circulate a greater number of allergens and pollutants if the furnace filter isn't kept clean.
2. Perform a Furnace Test Run
Once you've ensured that your furnace filter is in good shape, you can turn to the furnace itself. You may experience a few hiccups when you try to run your furnace for the first time after it's been out of use for months. For example, some homeowners may notice a burning smell that dissipates after the furnace runs for a few minutes. This is usually caused by dust that has settled on the heat exchanger being burned away.
In addition to strange smells, you should keep an ear out for unusual sounds during your furnace test run. Rattling noises could indicate that the blower motor or another component has come loose inside the furnace, while a squealing sound could point to a worn bearing or belt.
3. Schedule Professional Heating Services
A test run will confirm that your furnace is heating and rule out major issues, but it won't tell you everything. The only way to get a complete picture of the health of your furnace is to schedule professional heating services.
An HVAC technician can detect wear and tear inside your furnace and replace failing components before the heating season starts. This can help you avoid a furnace breakdown on a cold day due to hidden problems. Professional heating services also make your home safer by ruling out problems that could cause a gas leak, such as a cracked heat exchanger.
Taking steps now to get your furnace ready for the fall and winter will ensure that your home stays comfortable and energy-efficient. Use these tips each year so that your home is never left in the cold!