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Your Pre-Winter Furnace Checklist

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The first day of winter is December 21st. However, colder temperatures have already reached Virginia. Is your home protected against high winds, snow storms, and low temperatures? If not, now is the time to go through your pre-winter furnace checklist to keep your heating system running smoothly all season long. 

An inspection includes a comprehensive assessment of all components in your heating system. A Virginia-certified HVAC technician can perform routine maintenance and repair or upgrade your furnace. They can also provide tips for how to keep your home warm and optimize your heating system for efficiency

Below we look at a pre-winter furnace checklist to help you prepare for Virginia’s cold season. Contact Cardinal Plumbing, Heating, & Air if you have any further questions. 

Schedule a Furnace Inspection

Schedule a furnace inspection in the Fall before you turn your thermostat on. What does a furnace inspection consist of? The HVAC technician checks the following:

  • Carbon monoxide levels
  • Satisfactory flue venting
  • Gasoline components
  • Safety shut-off equipment
  • Heat exchanger
  • HVAC filters
  • Furnace flame sensor
  • Furnace temperature rise
  • Blower motor
  • Thermostat

While a winter furnace checklist varies from one HVAC company to the next, the assessment should cover all components of your furnace. In addition, the technician should identify and report any potential issues that could affect your furnace’s performance during winter.

Schedule Preventative Furnace Maintenance

An inspection is the first step in identifying small furnace issues before they turn into expensive problems. In addition to an inspection, you also need to schedule routine HVAC or furnace maintenance to keep your system operating as it should. For many technicians, furnace maintenance combines inspection and repairs or upgrades. What does furnace maintenance include?

  • Test furnace blower
  • Clean furnace components
  • Change furnace filter
  • Test hot surface ignitor
  • Clean and test pilot assembly
  • Replace thermocouple
  • Vacuum combustion chamber
  • Lubricate applicable furnace parts
  • Replace or upgrade damaged parts
  • Calibrate thermostat
  • Clean condensate drain pan and pipe
  • Clean air ducts

Again, keep in mind that every HVAC company in Virginia does furnace maintenance differently. Therefore, they may have different items on their pre-winter furnace checklist. Make sure you hire an HVAC company that knows your furnace brand and model to ensure top service.

Also, check to see if the furnace company you hire has an HVAC or furnace maintenance plan. Many HVAC companies in Virginia offer a maintenance plan to reduce repair and maintenance costs and extend the life of your furnace. Maintenance Plans also offer perks that give you preferred customer status. When choosing a furnace technician, compare their maintenance plans and go with the one that provides the benefits you need for your home.

Air Duct Cleaning

Your family is more active during the summer. They spend more time outside, which means they track more dirt inside. It also means that the windows and doors are open more often. As a result, the air ducts may fill with more dust, dirt, and pollutants. 

However, summer is not the only time that dirt gets in the ducts. All of the dirt that enters the house during the summer circulates throughout the house during the winter. Eventually, it settles in the ductwork. The dirt that escapes the ducts through the vents circulates back into the HVAC system, and the cycle continues. 

The best way to prevent dirt buildup is to schedule an annual air duct cleaning. An HVAC technician cleans all the components in your ductwork, including

  • Supply, intake, and return vents
  • Registers
  • Grills
  • Fans

The HVAC technician may also change the filter and clean out certain HVAC components to minimize the dirty air that flows into the air ducts. It gives your ductwork a fresh start.

What Else Can I Do to Keep My Furnace Running Efficiently All Winter?

Winterizing your furnace often includes various tasks to improve the system’s performance. In addition, your pre-winter furnace checklist should include some other items you can do around the house that help your furnace run efficiently and reliably all winter.

Seal Your Windows and Doors

Most air drafts in your home escape or come through windows and doors. The causes of aid drafts include poor seals, misalignment, or outdated window units. Repairing, resealing, or replacing your windows and doors prevents airflow, improving your furnace’s performance.

Insulate Your Attic and Walls

Insulating your house is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bill each winter. You may want to inspect your insulation in the attic and your walls to ensure a solid envelope around your home. Doing so can improve your furnace’s performance and reduce your energy bill.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises. As a result, you may not feel the warm air that your furnace produces. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in a clockwise direction. It produces a gentle updraft, forcing warm air near the ceiling into the occupied space.

Open All Vents and Doors in Your House

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is closing vents and doors to channel warm air to target air. However, your furnace works best when you allow the air to circulate through the house. Open all vents and doors in your home. Doing so allows more warmth to flow through your house. 

Schedule a Furnace Inspection From Cardinal

Keep your family safe and warm this winter. Winterize your heating system by scheduling your home’s furnace inspection and maintenance. Cardinal Plumbing, Heating, and Air can help you with our pre-winter furnace checklist. Contact us today for an in-home assessment.

Fill out our contact form or call us today to schedule HVAC Services in Virginia.

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