Maybe you just had a brand-new furnace installed, or maybe you’ve moved into a new house and you’re unfamiliar with your HVAC system. Make sure you know the key steps to take before warming up your home.
For starters, make sure your HVAC system has had a tuneup if it’s not new, or a professional installation if it is. It’s easy to go crank up the furnace on a chilly Utah January day, but move too fast and you could damage the system.
Check the air filter first to make sure it’s clean. If you recently had a furnace installation or a tuneup, a reputable HVAC technician should have installed the filter or swapped it out, if necessary. However, many homeowners take on this task themselves since it’s so simple.
Regularly changing the air filter, especially if this is the first time you’re turning on the furnace this season, helps optimize air quality, puts less stress on your HVAC system and reduces fire hazards.
Ready, Set …
Check your thermostat to make sure it’s set at a reasonable temperature. You don’t know what the previous homeowners preferred, or if your HVAC technician adjusted the settings accordingly.
Programmable thermostats can sometimes be confusing, and if you’re uncertain of how to set yours, ask an HVAC technician to help you (alternatively, you also can call the manufacturer’s customer service number). Many people are going with smart home technology, which can control your thermostat and thus reduce energy consumption and utility bills.
Ensure all of the air vents are open. That helps your furnace work better and move air throughout the home easier. Return air registers shouldn’t be blocked by rugs, furniture or anything else. Aim for at least a one-foot berth between registers and objects — but the more space, the better.
Clean and Tidy
The furnace is often found in the basement or in a closet in many homes. These are spaces that are rarely used, and it’s common for dust to collect or for areas around the furnace to become a storage space.
Regularly sweep and vacuum the area, especially before turning on the furnace for the first time. Otherwise, dust can be sucked into the system, compromising it at worst and giving you poor air quality at best. This is also a great time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
If your HVAC system isn’t brand new, have the air ducts cleaned annually. Finally, schedule reminders to test your furnace on a monthly basis, including in the summer months. This can help alert you to problems before you really need your furnace on that first frosty day. For all your furnace needs, contact Complete Heating & Air Conditioning, your local experts.