10 Things To Check Before Turning On Your Furnace

2018-12-27

Alabama Winter

The cold Alabama winter is here and it is time to bring out your furnace and fire it up. During the period where it has been left unused, the furnace could have developed some faults or problems that can reduce its efficiency or lead to an emergency that may be costly to resolve. The best step to take will be to have a certified technician perform a complete pre-run inspection in order to ensure that the furnace is efficient, reliable and safe. Other than that, here are a few simple checks that can be performed by homeowners before firing up their heating system.

1. Check that your furnace has electrical power

It is highly important you check your breaker box or fuse for faults, as a blown fuse or tripped breaker could be an indication of a major problem with your furnace or by large; the electrical system of your home. If you are in doubt of the health of your electrical system or appliances, it is important you immediately call for professional help so as to ensure that your family and home are safe.

2. Check that the unit’s power switch is in the “on” position

There might be cases where a furnace is accidentally or even knowingly switched off during the summer period and no longer remembered. In this kind of scenario, you need to look for the power switch on your unit; it may be located in a metal enclosure. But before proceeding, you need to take precautions and shut off power at your breaker or fuse box. You also need to check for a secondary breaker or fuse, as some furnaces have them installed on or close by the unit. Inspect the fuses and breakers for electrical faults, and if there are any, contact a licensed technician for a professional inspection. Blown fuses or tripped breakers can be an indication of a major electrical problem with the unit.

3. Check that there are no obstructions in the exterior intake and exhaust system

In order to safely operate your furnace, it is highly important you perform this inspection. Most times during summer, debris such as windblown leaves, insects and rodent nests can find their way into the important components of your furnace, blocking the airways and disrupting the proper ventilation of air in the system. Aside from bringing about poor performance, an obstruction in the furnace system can lead to an excessive build-up of heat and fatal carbon monoxide gas, which can be dangerous to you and your family health. In the case where you are unable to clear this obstruction, it is essential to have it fixed by a professional technician so as to ensure the safety of your family and home.

Thermostat

4. Check your thermostat setting

You need to ensure that your thermostat is set to “heat” and have the temperature setting on high, that should be sufficient to enable the furnace to come on. While this may seem uncomplicated, this is part of the little details that can be easily missed by a homeowner with tight schedules.

5. Check your thermostat setting

You need to ensure that your thermostat is set to “heat” and have the temperature setting on high, that should be sufficient to enable the furnace to come on. While this may seem uncomplicated, this is part of the little details that can be easily missed by a homeowner with tight schedules.

6. Check thermostat batteries

In the case where your thermostat is the modern programmable type, then simple battery power may be all that is required to operate it. When the battery is low, this type of thermostat usually flashes a warning light as a signal of a low battery. If this happens, then you will need to replace the batteries with fresh ones. In a situation where you are facing difficulties in having the batteries replaced, then you will require the help of a professional. In trying to replace the batteries, ensure you don’t force the thermostat open or off the wall, as it can damage the unit.

7. Check your furnace filter

In a case where warm air is flowing from your heating registers at an irregular rate, then the major cause behind this may be a clogged filter. Debris such as dust and hair can build-up over time in your furnace, thereby limiting the flow of air. You should have the filters on an average residential heating system changed on a three-month basis. But if you are experiencing issues replacing or finding the filter on your heating system, have a professional to come to inspect it. Although regular replacement of furnace filter is not as important as the aforementioned checks, it helps to improve the longevity of your unit and have it performing at optimal capacity.

8. Clean your air duct

Having a clean duct system improve not only efficiency but also increase the quality of indoor air. Companies that offer professional duct cleaning service have specialized tools that can be employed in properly cleaning your home duct system. But having regular quick cleaning of the regions close to the registers can go a long way. To have these regions cleaned, have each register cover removed with a screwdriver and then proceed to employ the hose attachment on your household vacuum to suck out all the debris and dust on the inside of the ducting. Though this would not be able to clean the entire ducting, so you will need to hire a professional for a complete cleaning.

9. Test your safety detector

It is crucial that you make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly before turning on your furnace. Electronic devices are not without their defects – low batteries and other electrical conditions can cause the furnace to fail in times of emergency. This is one of the reasons why it is crucial to replace the batteries on a regular basis and have the units tested out to ensure that your family is safe in case of an emergency.

10. Check your unit’s gas supply

We usually recommend homeowners not to handle or meddle with any components of the gas supply line or pilot light, as natural gas has a hazardous nature. In the event of a gas leak, call 911 immediately.

Professional Furnace Tune Up & Maintenance

11. Get professional inspection & maintenance

Furnaces are to be tuned on a yearly basis by licensed qualified heating technicians, as recommended by furnace manufacturers. This is advised so as to have the furnace working at optimum efficiency. Having your furnace tuned-up on a yearly basis can also help to increase the longevity of your heating system. Performing proactive preventative maintenance can help to reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns and repairs and also have the furnace operating safely. You can contact our friendly and experienced staff today at All Seasons Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your heating system maintenance & tune-up.