Heating System -- Preparing for Winter

When the weather gets cold, the air conditioners go off and the furnaces get kicked on. And while that pleasant blast of warm air may be almost instantaneous, there are measures that you should take to ensure your furnace is functioning properly and will give you the safest, most efficient heat this winter.

Prior to the start of the cold season:

  • Have your furnace checked and cleaned each year by a professional. The furnace check-up should include the furnace itself, the chimney, vents, and gas and fuel lines. Also, have the serviceperson check the wall and ceiling near the furnace in this checkup. If the wall or ceiling is hot, the service person may recommend that additional insulation be placed in this area or more clearance needed.
  • Make sure the flame in the furnace burner is a bright, steady blue color. It should never come outside the furnace.
  • Make sure air filters are clean and replaced according to instructions.
  • Do not keep any flammable objects, including trash and other combustible items near the furnace.
  • Make sure that furnace panels and grills are in place and that the fan compartment door is closed when the furnace is on.
  • Examine the unit to see that it is free of dust, rust, or any other signs of corrosion.
Depending on the type of fuel your furnace uses, there are other safety concerns you should be aware of. The instruction manual that was a part of the heating system when it was installed will give you information about these precautions. If these instructions are unavailable, the manufacturer of your furnace may be able to supply you with this information. You may also be able to get this information from professionals who service the type of furnace you have in your home.

In addition to having you furnace inspected, you should have other appliances, such as water heaters, boilers, and other fuel-burning appliances checked for possible carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards

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