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Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?

It is the middle of September already! Even though the days are still warm, now is as good a time as any to check and service your HVAC system. Somehow, losing heat in the middle of winter does not seem very appealing to me.

There are some DIY maintenance tasks most people can do with a screwdriver at the very least.

1. Change your filters. Identify the size of filter your HVAC system uses and determine the type you want for your home. There are a ton of choices in the furnace filter section of your local home improvement stores. You can spend as little as $4 to as much as $50 per filter. It all depends on how you want the filter to perform. Check out this site for a list of filters and how they perform. A clean filter will allow air to circulate better through the house and help keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter.

2. Troubleshoot your electric ignition. If you are experiencing a system that does not provide enough heat, blower is running constantly or the furnace is cycling all the time, it may be related to your electric ignition. Here are some ways you can pinpoint the issue before calling out a pro.

  • Check the breaker. This may seem silly, but if the breaker has been tripped, calling a pro out could cost you a bit of the green for something as simple as flipping the switch. If your furnace continually blows or trips its fuses, then you need to seek professional help.

  • Check your pilot light. There are many reasons for pilot lights to go out. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to relight a pilot light. If it will not relight, give a professional a call.

  • See #1 above. Replace those filters.

  • Check the gas line. Is the valve in the on position? Maybe it was knocked when you were moving things in the furnace room and it is now not completely in the on position. Easy fix.

3. Check those thermostat settings. We all get busy and if you don't have the newest,

technological thermostat that can tell what you're feeling and how to adjust the settings to reflect your mood (that doesn't really exist, BTW), maybe you still have the settings for summer. It happens.

4. Identify normal wear and tear. Even systems that are serviced regularly wear out. If you can diagnose this problem early on, a professional can help you repair or replace parts of the unit to get it back to working.

5. Uneven cooling. This issue may not have anything to do with the unit itself, but more with sealing issues. If a seal is broken in the system, it could be allowing cold or hot air to escape, which means the living space is not getting that precious hot/cold air.

6. Issues with Coils. If the coils look corroded or are broken, it's time to call in the pros.

While some items can be easily fixed by a homeowner, others really do need a professional. By diagnosing the above issues, you could save yourself some cash and get a solution to your HVAC issues quicker.

If you are need of a local HVAC company, here is a trusted source our clients have used in the past.


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