With the chill wind picking up in the air, it is that time of year to get yourself settled in for the winter months. Between holiday prep, make sure you squeeze in time for furnace maintenance.

Making sure your furnace is well kept can do more than keep you warm in the winter months. It can also solve a lot of health and safety issues.

Need a bit help getting your furnace up and ready? Unsure of where to start or what to look out for? We have you covered!

Getting Ready for Winter with Proper Furnace Maintenance

Your furnace is an important aspect of your home. While it may only be on for a few months out of the year, if it is not ready for those few months, they can be disastrous!

In Houston, it is warm more often than not. As such, many forget the furnace even exists.

Such neglect means the machine will have a thick coat of hazardous dust and worn out pieces. With proper maintenance before winter is upon you, you can handle those problems before they grow into real issues. 

A quick safety tip! Whenever you are working on your furnace, be mindful of whether it has any sort of fuel to it. Remove the gas, unplug the power cord, or shut down any connectors.

Remove any possibility that it can turn on while you are working on it. You may save yourself some painful backlash. 

Now, let’s go over the 7 easy steps towards proper furnace maintenance. 

1. Start Early

You never want to double-check you have all your supplies at the very moment you need them. The same works for your furnace. 

Even worse, in certain furnaces, a cold night can make your furnace hard to light, as heat can be harder to produce for that initial light. 

The best course of action is to start before you need it. That means you should aim to start your furnace maintenance checklist a month or two in advance, around August or September. 

If you are too late into the season, no worries! Later is better than never, especially when a cold front is breathing down your neck. As well, keeping up even earlier has its perks too. 

If you do maintenance twice a year, right as winter is winding down and again when it starts to build up, then each check will be easier from less buildup and wear. 

2. Visual Inspections Save Time

Sometimes the naked eye can catch a few items. It is always good to give your furnace a solid visual inspection. This can show you what pieces are dirty and what items look corroded or broken, among other things.

In gas furnaces, make sure that the venting pipes remain attached in the most secure way possible. For other types of furnaces, check for any clogs in drainage systems and such.

These quick checks can help you prepare for where your attention is needed most

3. Check Filters

Filters are the biggest and most important piece you will need to check during furnace maintenance. The most common issues with a furnace or any air quality unit are the filters.

A dirty or damaged filter can do a lot of things. It can restrict airflow, which will force your motor to work harder to get the warm air out. They can also contain piles of dust and grime which will fly into the air for you to breathe!

4. Clean and Clear Out

The next is to check all the ducts and tubes. You must clear out any ventilation systems of all dirt and grime. That is the last line for air systems and like the filters, dirty vents mean dirty air!

For natural gas and propane, some water will be in the system. The excess leaks out into a drip pan. You need to make sure you remove this water. If this pan overflows, your entire system will shut down!

5. Sealing Leaks

Any cracks or breaks in the tubing or vents will need filling and repair. Air getting out will cause damage to the system and raise your energy bills. Gas leaking from a broken pipe is even worse.

You can seal most cracks or leaks in piping with some molding putty, but be very careful about how the putty may react to heat. When in doubt, leave this to the professionals. 

6. Checking Safety Procedures

A modern furnace has a few odds and ends to make sure it operates in a safe and efficient manner. Check up on all these items to make sure they still function. 

The thermostat is the main one. Most people have a combined AC and furnace system, so you will notice if the thermostat has gone weird during the summer months. 

For gas furnaces, a flame sensor is a vital piece to keep your furnace running. Detach this from the furnace and give it an absolute clean. Your furnace should not even turn on without this sensor in proper order. 

7. Get the Proper Professional Finish

Furnace maintenance can be a major job. For a large house or an old furnace, cleaning your furnace can be a lot of work. As well, when things get damaged or in rough wear, you might need more experienced eyes.

If you are ever in doubt about whether you are getting your furnace the maintenance it needs, call a professional. Most services are quick, efficient, and if you catch them before the busy season hits, even affordable.

For the greatest of qualities, trust the locals for your furnace repair

Safe and Warm for the Winter

With the checklist checked and the steps followed, your furnace will have everything ready to keep you cozy. Furnace maintenance is one of those items on every year’s list that needs crossing off, for your home and your family.

When you are as eager to keep your home as prepped and happy as you are for the holidays, we at P & M Air Conditioning and Heating are here to help! Contact us today for more information!