If you live anywhere north of Miami, October is a spooky furnace season. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists many first frosts in October,long before Halloween, so don’t wait much longer to tackle pre-winter furnace maintenance. If you live in Helena, Montana, the frost date was predicted for September 18th – a full eight days before even Juneau, Alaska! If all you did is switch the thermostat to HEAT, you’re already a month late!
So what does it take to get your furnace ready for the winter heating season? Mostly, it’s a phone call to your HVAC contractor. But what will they do when they get to your house?
Here’s a quick checklist:
- test the electrical system and safety shutoff
- clean or replace the air filter
- clean the combustion chamber
- inspect and clean the flue pipe and chimney
- clean or replace the oil filter (if an oil furnace)
- analyze the burner for efficiency, and adjust
- clean floor vents
More detailed information on these maintenance tasks is available here.
Paying for an annual furnace cleaning and inspection might feel expensive, but it pays off in a number of ways. First, the more efficiently your furnace operates, the less expensive it will be to run. Your up front investment will likely pay for itself in reduced monthly heating bills.
Think, too, about the last time you woke up on a below-freezing day and the furnace wasn’t working. Do you want to be guy whose teeth are chattering while you wait for the emergency service call (not to mention those fees) or do you want to be the guy who’s cozy and watching the weather channel while the snow falls?
Most importantly, good maintenance of your furnace keeps you and your family safe. Your family, home, and peace of mind is well-worth an hour’s visit from your HVAC professional – in October!