Prepare For The Cold Now

Cooler weather is on its way and we will soon be calling on our heating systems to go back to work for us. The change of seasons require us to prepare our heating systems for the long cold winter ahead and although I wrote on this topic last year, every fall these checks need to be completed before you click the thermostat to heat.

If you think you are done using the air conditioner, it is a good idea to turn off its breaker or fuse. If you don’t, the small amount of heat generated in the air conditioner makes a perfect home for mice in the winter. Should they nest in the a/c unit they can do quite a bit of damage to the wiring or insulation. Also, now is a good time to install the cover on the A/C. Remember, do not wrap it in plastic. Use a quality custom cover that breathes or even just a piece of plywood on top.

Change the filter in the furnace if it is a throw away style. I do not recommend vacuuming a throw away filter. If it is a washable style, simply hose it off or use a mild detergent if it has greasy dust.

If you have a humidifier, some styles have a damper in them that should be reset to the winter position. Humidifiers also require cleaning once a year and replacement of its pad or waterpanel. If it has a manual humidity control, turn it on and set it for 35 percent humidity.

Make sure the area around the furnace is uncongested and nothing is leaning against the furnace or restricting airflow to it.

If you have an electronic or programmable thermostat, change its batteries and don’t forget the batteries in the smoke or CO detector.

If your furnace has plastic exhaust pipes through the side of the house, make sure they are clear of vegetation and that wasps have not built a nest in them.

It is highly recommended you have your system professionally serviced at least once per year. This allows the furnace to run at peak efficiency and will ensure it is operating safely. It doesn’t matter when it is inspected, just have it done once a year.

Lastly, go ahead and turn the furnace on now to make sure it works before you really need it.