September, October and November are typically the best months of the year to save money on utility bills because there isn’t a need for a furnace or air conditioner. If you get too hot you can open windows and take off clothes, or even turn on fans. If you get too cold a sweater or blanket isn’t usually too far away. Luckily, you can expect to get one of the lowest energy bills of the entire year, if you play your cards right, and by cards we mean paying attention to your energy usage.
However, this month temperatures are dipping a little low and mid November might be the time to fire up your furnace. If you have had an HVAC technician already perform annual maintenance on your furnace then you likely won’t run into any problems, but if you haven’t then there’s no time like the present. There are some basic things that need to be done in order to make sure it’s ready for an entire winter season.
Turning Your Furnace On For The First Time
Your furnace has been sitting all winter long, it collects dust just like everything else and as a result needs a good cleaning, along with your vents and duct system. When you run your furnace for the first time you might smell something that resembled burning, but don’t worry that just all the accumulated dust being toasted. If you find that the smell isn’t dissipating after an hour then it might be something more than dust and you should call an experienced HVAC technician at Novel Care.
There are a few other precautions you should take if you haven’t had a furnace tune-up and you’re starting the heating season on your own:
- Change the filter – Your filter needs to be changed whenever its clogged, which can be up to once every few months depending on how dusty your house is. remember the blower also blows air through the filter during the summer while air conditioning your home.
- Clear the furnace area – If your furnace is located in a storage area of your home it’s important to make sure nothing has been piled against or too close to your furnace. Anything that’s flammable can catch fire.
- Test your thermostat – Even if your thermostat worked reliably in cooling mode, it’s worth double-checking its accuracy in heating mode. Take a digital thermometer from room to room to make sure your home is heating accurately and evenly.
Winter Is Coming, Are You Ready?
In addition to preparing your furnace there are a few things you can do to ensure your home is ready for winter. They are easier than you might think, take a look:
- Check and replace weather-stripping – You should have some form of weather-stripping on every window and exterior door. But time and the elements can take a toll, and weather-stripping may peel or become cracked. Wherever you find damaged weather-stripping, replace it before it turns into a chilly draft.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned – If you have a functional wood-burning fireplace that you intend to use, complete this service before building your first fire.
- Trim your trees – Pay particular attention to tree limbs that could fall onto power lines or through windows if they were to suddenly break. If you live in an area that experiences ice storms, the added weight of ice buildup could very well bring those limbs down.
- Prepare an emergency kit – Winter storms can develop suddenly, and severe storms could leave you without power and heat for hours or days. Store at least a three-day supply of fresh water and non-perishable food, as well as flashlights, batteries, a radio, blankets and medical supplies. If you have a generator, keep it maintained and ready.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors – Cracked furnace heat exchangers are among the most common causes of carbon monoxide leaks. During heating season, make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide detector for each floor of your home, and test those detectors monthly.
Getting your home ready for winter is essential to keeping it warm and running as efficiently as possible. Fall might not technically be over, but Mother Nature doesn’t care what our calendar says. If it’s cold out you need to be ready. For professional furnace maintenance, furnace repair or furnace installation contact an HVAC technician from Novel Care today: 416-921-0000.