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5 Ways to Ready Your Furnace For Winter

As the weather turns, you want to be sure your main source of warmth isn’t going to give out on you in midwinter.

Luckily, a few easy steps will ready your furnace for the coming cold, reducing the need for expensive repairs (which on average costs $397) and keeping you toasty until spring.

1. Clean the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is where the furnace burns fuel, giving off heat.

However, combustion also produces dust, soot, and water vapor. It requires periodic maintenance to stay clean and prevent erosion.

If you possess a natural gas or propane furnace and see only dust, this is likely a task you can do yourself with a vacuum.

If, however, you have an oil furnace or see black soot, call a professional.

2. Change the Filters

Air filters protect the air quality in your home, and cannot do so effectively if they are dirty or clogged, so inspect and replace them if they look dirty or greasy.

Oil filters, if you have an oil furnace, reduce the chance that oil deposits will gunk up the burners and reduce the furnace’s efficiency or cause it to fail entirely.

3. Check the Burners

The burner flames sit on top of the burners and, when all is running smoothly, should be a bright blue.

With your combustion door open, turn on your furnace and turn up your thermostat to inspect the flames.

If they’re blue, you’re good to go. If they’re a yellowish color, however, your furnace may be dirty or working inefficiently, so call for backup.

4. Clean the Exhaust Flue

The exhaust flute vents harmful vapors and gases out of your home.

Cleaning and checking for cracks all along its length are vital to efficiency and safety.

Leaks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, so avoid this fate with a thorough checkup and up-to-date carbon monoxide sensors.

5. Dust Off the Pilot

If you have an older furnace (early 1990’s or before) , chances are it has a pilot light.

The pilot light remains on even when your furnace is off, and it triggers the burners when you turn on the thermostat.

Keep it clean so that, according to the Family Handyman, the flame sensor doesn’t incorrectly register the pilot as unlit.

They recommend blowing on it with a straw to clear dust and debris.

Full furnace tune-ups cost $99 at Sears, so if you’d like help, call us today.

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