10 Steps to Prepare Your Furnace for the Coming Winter


As we head into the cooler seasons, it’s a time to start preparing your furnace for the coming cold. Following the below steps will help keep your HVAC system operating at peak performance and extend the longevity of your heater. Don’t wait until you need your furnace for a cold winter night to find out if you need a repair.

1.      Schedule your furnace check before the weather gets chilly.

Waiting until the cold is upon us to schedule your check may mean waiting for that furnace check. Upon the onset of cold, your HVAC specialist is likely extremely busy. Not only are more people realizing they forgot that check, but people are discovering their system is not working as desired and may need a repair or even a replacement. Plus, you don’t want to live through a cold winter night without a working furnace.

2.      Consider having your furnace experts clean your air ducts.

Cleaning air ducts can help improve the performance and longevity of your HVAC system.

3.      Change the air filter on your HVAC system.

How often you need to change your air filter varies with use, the number of people, and the number of pets in the home. One time it definitely needs changing is at the beginning of the season before its regular use.

4.      Check the ignition for your furnace–relight pilot light if needed.

Some systems require a pilot light to be lit for the system to operate. If yours does, this is the time to have it relit. Most furnaces and many city regulations require a professional, either your HVAC expert or your gas company to relight the pilot light for safety.

5.      Check your thermostat.

Change the settings on your thermostat from cool to heat and set the temperature a degree or two above the current temperature of the room. Your heater should kick in. Now is also an excellent time to check that your thermostat is showing the correct temperature for the area. Do this by using an air thermostat and placing it near the thermostat that controls your heating and cooling system. After an hour or so, check the temperatures to see if they match. Note that hot or cold spots in your home may vary significantly from this temperature. Now is the perfect time to see where your hot or cold spots are and assess if there are measures you can take to address this issue for better comfort throughout the winter.

6.      Consider investing in an automatic, programmable thermostat.

These thermostats can turn your heat on and off or adjust the temperature for different times of the day based on your preferences. This step can lower your utility bills by ensuring your heat runs when you need it and not when you don’t. No more forgetting to turn the heat down during the hours you won’t be home or will be asleep.

7.      Cover you’re a/c outdoor condenser.

Covering your air-conditioner will help protect it from falling debris such as leaves or icicles throughout the winter.

8.      Check your carbon monoxide detector.

While a properly serviced and maintained furnace should not cause a carbon monoxide buildup in your home, this step is crucial for your safety. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas. Most people do not exhibit symptoms after breathing low levels of carbon monoxide. But carbon dioxide poisoning can lead to death without ever realizing there is a problem. Even a properly maintained HVAC system can fail and leave your home open to a carbon monoxide leak. While you are at it, if you plan to enjoy a fire this winter, this is an excellent time to have your chimney cleaned and checked.

9.      Uncover all vents and ensure air can flow unobstructed.

If you have covered vents, uncover them. Ensure that air can flow out unobstructed. Some of the newer, high-efficiency systems require all vents always remain fully open. Check with your HVAC expert before closing individual vents to individual rooms. Even if this is the case, you can still reduce the load while increasing temperatures in the living space by closing doors to lower temperature rooms.

10. Consider a service plan for your HVAC system.

Getting a service plan can save you $$$ in the event of needing a repair. These plans often come with regular service, as well as saving you money on repairs. Often, they even offer a discount if your system requires replacing.

Getting ready for winter requires preparing your home in many ways. Make sure you prepare for the cooler nights ahead with a service check by J and C A/C Services, LLC. And don’t forget to add our comfort maintenance agreement to save money on service, repairs, and replacements. Call 972-986-2317 to have J and C A/C Services keep you cozy and comfortable this winter.