Cold Weather Preparations

Prepare For the Cold Weather

One of the best ways to avoid problems with your home comfort equipment is to prevent them from occurring. Even the best equipment, if not maintained properly, can malfunction. Proper care can keep your furnace running efficiently this winter and help you avoid costly repairs.

Regular service lengthens the life of the equipment by keeping it in good working condition and also maintains efficient operation, which saves you money. Also, you save money by limiting the number of necessary repairs and reducing any major expenses.

Regular maintenance can keep your home safe too. Carbon monoxide in your home is an invisible threat to your safety, but it is a preventable threat. A home heating system that isn't functioning properly can be one of the many carbon monoxide sources. Be aware of devices such as fireplaces, water heaters, ovens, cook tops, and auto exhaust from an attached garage. During annual maintenance, a qualified technician will check your furnace to make sure it is operating properly and make sure that your chimney and flue pipes are not blocked and are connected properly.

Although it's best for your qualified Airflow service technician to handle major maintenance on your furnace, there are a few procedures you can do at the beginning of each heating season to ensure a more comfortable winter.

  1. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors or replace the batteries in existing devices.
  2. Before performing any maintenance, turn off the unit and wait for the blower to stop.
  3. Always replace air filters at the beginning of the heating season and check them monthly throughout the winter. Dirty filters should be replaced to prevent equipment from working harder, which results in energy waste and possible internal damage.
  4. Inspect the blower compartment before each heating season. Use a vacuum to remove any dirt or dust, which can result in improper performance and low-efficiency.
  5. Remove clutter from around the furnace. Items stored near the furnace are a fire hazard. They may also obstruct combustion air supply. This could cause incomplete combustion and the production of carbon monoxide gas.
  6. Occasionally check the chimney and flue pipe connections for tightness, blockages or loose connections. If you think they need to be cleaned or repaired, call your service representative.
  7. Listen for unfamiliar noises. Set the thermostat on "HEAT" and move the setting above room temperature. If you repeatedly hear any new or unfamiliar sounds while your unit is operating, there may be a problem. Poorly performing burners can produce unfamiliar noises.
  8. Pay close attention to unusual odors. If you smell any unusual odors, your unit may be operating improperly. Units may emit unfamiliar odors if components are operating in abnormal conditions.
  9. Look for visible signs of a malfunctioning unit. Examples include unusual amounts of moisture on windows inside your home, visibly burnt components, or unusual dirt or rust accumulations in the chimney or flue pipe or in the unit.
  10. Don't hesitate to get medical attention if you experience headache, nausea, fatigue or dizziness. These could be symptoms that you are being exposed to carbon monoxide gas. This is often misdiagnosed as the flu because the symptoms are similar. If you suffer from flu-like symptoms that are exaggerated at home, but seem to subside while you are away from the house, exposure to carbon monoxide gas could be the cause.