Fall just began, the last thing most people want to consider are the chilly temps coming right around the corner. Unfortunately, putting off chores like furnace maintenance can create more headaches for homeowners very quickly as summer transitions into fall.
It is a common misconception that a furnace system will operate just as well when it is turned on as it did the last winter it was used. Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to prevent the costly emergency repairs that can put your family’s indoor comfort and health at risk.
Always take the time to clean out your main furnace appliance. Using a wand style vacuum or hand duster, you can remove months of dirt, cobwebs and other debris that can present fire hazards and force your furnace system to work overtime. Take special care not to touch electrical wires attached to the furnace. Loosening or dislodging these wires can cause an electrical short.
Remember to vacuum out heat registers and vents. Those pesky dust bunnies that hide in these spaces can get sucked into the heating system and cause a wide array of problems.
Change your furnace filter. Some homeowners believe that if that filter was changed relatively close to the end of use last winter, this step can be skipped come next fall. But even when a furnace system is not in use, the filter can still fill up with dust mites, pet dander, cobwebs and other debris.
Conducting a visual inspection of your furnace is a crucial step toward ensuring that your system is ready to take on those creeping fall chills. Once you’ve removed the dirt and replaced the filter, turn on the furnace and visually inspect the system’s igniters. If they fail to light or seem sluggish, call a professional to replace worn-out burners or igniters that can compromise your system and increase the amount of energy your furnace uses, which will be reflected in your monthly energy bills.
Preparing your heating system for the upcoming fall season usually takes only an hour to complete. Considering all of the hassles and hazards it can prevent, this is an invaluable step that most homeowners can perform on their own.
Remember: having an American Home Shield home warranty can provide the extra confidence that even if your furnace or heating system isn’t ready for fall, your budget will be protected from most standard repair and replacement costs to make sure it’s ready.