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How to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter: A Step-by-Step Checklist
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How to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter: A Step-by-Step Checklist

The cold weather months are nearly here, and it’s time to prepare your furnace for winter. You can call our team of expert Colorado Springs heating technicians for HVAC maintenance and repair in Colorado Springs, but there’s plenty to do to prep your heating system and stay ahead of the season and avoid unexpected breakdowns. Here are our pro tips on what to do and how to make sure your furnace in Colorado Springs is ready to go.

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Step 1: Safety First

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Before you dive into furnace maintenance on your own, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Turn off your circuit breaker to your furnace to avoid any accidental mishaps or power surges. When you start inspecting and looking over your furnace, you won’t have to worry about injury to you or your family.

Step 2: Change the Air Filter

A clogged air filter significantly reduces your furnace’s efficiency and can compromise your air quality. We generally recommend changing your air filter at the start of every heating season and then every one to three months, depending on your usage. A clean filter keeps your furnace running smoothly, could reduce your energy bills, and provide cleaner air. If you or your family suffers from allergies and respiratory issues, a clean filter is a must.

Step 3: Check for Air Leaks

Take time to inspect your home for drafts and air leaks around your doors, windows, and vents. If you can feel air coming through, seal up any gaps using weatherstripping or caulk. When you properly insulate your gaps, it helps your furnace consistently warm your home and reduces its workload, which could also reduce your energy bills.

Step 4: Clean Your Vents and Ducts

Dusty or blocked vents can dramatically prohibit the airflow in your HVAC system, which makes it work harder. You can remove any visible obstructions on your own and vacuum the vents. However, it’s tough to get vents and ducts thoroughly cleaned without a professional who uses commercial-grade tools and best practices.

Step 5: Inspect the Exhaust Flue

Look over the exhaust flue of your furnace for any noticeable signs of damage, such as rust or cracks. Your furnace needs to be properly ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. A buildup of carbon monoxide is dangerous and could lead to illness or even death. If you notice any issues, contact the team at Big Cat right away for an immediate heating repair in Colorado Springs.

Step 6: Lubricate Moving Parts

If you’re comfortable handling your furnace, you can regularly lubricate the moving parts, such as the blower motor and bearings. Properly lubricating your furnace helps reduce friction, prolongs your system’s lifespan, and ensures it operates quietly and efficiently.

Step 7: Test the Ignition System

You should periodically test your furnace’s ignition system to make sure it lights up without any issues. If you have a pilot light, check to see that it’s burning blue and not yellow, which indicates a potential problem. You should consult your electronic ignition system’s manual for troubleshooting.

Step 8: Clean the Blower

Your furnace’s blower assembly should be clean and free of dust and debris. When the blower is dirty, it restricts airflow, keeps your furnace working harder, and could drive up your utility bills. Gently and carefully clean out the blower blades and motor, or call the team at Big Cat for a thorough cleaning.

Step 9: Inspect the Thermostat

Once your power is back on, check your thermostat. Make sure it’s functioning correctly, set to the temperature you want, and warming up. If you do experience an issue, check to see if you accidentally changed the programmable thermostat to ensure the programming aligns with your winter schedule.

Step 10: Schedule Professional Maintenance

You can do lots of things to help your furnace work efficiently. But at some point, you need a professional to service your furnace and keep it well-maintained and repaired. One of our qualified technicians can perform a comprehensive inspection, identify potential issues, and ensure your furnace is operating efficiently and safely. Regular heating maintenance in Colorado Springs can also help extend the lifespan of your furnace and save you money in the long run.

Schedule Your HVAC Maintenance or Repair with Big Cat

The team at Big Cat wants you to stay warm this winter with an efficient, cost-effective furnace that lasts as long as possible. Use our pro tips to stay on top of maintenance, but at some point you need a professional to do a thorough cleaning and stay ahead of any issues. Contact us today whenever you need help with your HVAC in Colorado Springs!

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