Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? 5 Tips for Prepping Your Furnace

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The Halloween pumpkins have left the porch and thoughts are shifting to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie – a sure sign that winter is on the way. Before you are tempted by holiday shopping and festive gatherings, there is one important question to ask: Is your furnace ready for winter?

Chances are you have turned on your heat by now and it is working just fine. However, there are some important steps to take to ensure that your home stays cozy and warm throughout the season.

Here is a quick checklist to help you avoid any unfortunate surprises.

1. Replace the Air Filter

We can’t stress enough how important this simple step is. Air filters should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and the time of year. In winter (or whenever you are using your furnace), inspect the filter monthly and replace it with a new one when it is dirty. Clean air filters are the most economical way to help keep your furnace working efficiently and effectively, prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and keep your energy costs low. Simply remove the old filter, and install the new one following the direction of the arrows. Consider upgrading to a pleated filter, a HEPA filter or an electrostatic filter for even better performance.

2. Open All Air Vents & Make Sure they are Uncovered

Blocked or closed vents can cause your furnace to work harder than necessary and can drive up your heating costs. They also, obviously, prevent heat from getting into the room. During the summer, vents may be closed or furniture rearranged without considering the location of the vents. Sometimes books, papers or other objects block the air vents as well. Check the vents in each room to make sure they are open and unobstructed. You can also use a screwdriver to remove the vent cover, and vacuum in and around the vent to remove any dust and debris that may have accumulated. And don’t forget the return air vents.

3. Make Sure the Area Around Your Furnace is Free of Debris and Clutter

Your furnace room may be a tempting storage space for seldom-used items, but storing belongings around your furnace can be a safety hazard. Clutter and debris can also impact your system’s performance. Check the area to be sure nothing is interfering with the operation of your furnace. Also make sure the burners are free of dust and dirt.

4. Make Sure Your Thermostat is Working Properly

Your thermostat should be set on “Heat” and the fan should be set on “Auto.” To check if it is working properly, raise the temperature setting 5 degrees above the current room temperature. The furnace should start up right away. If not, your thermostat may be malfunctioning.

5. Schedule an Appointment to Clean Your Furnace

Regular service by a trained HVAC professional goes a long way toward maintaining or even extending the functional life of your furnace. A qualified HVAC technician can professionally clean all the parts of your furnace, spot potential problems before they become expensive repairs, and keep your system running efficiently – saving you money and the inconvenience of a breakdown.

Don’t wait! Schedule your fall maintenance appointment with a Rheem Pro Partner today!

Take These 7 Steps Before Using Your Furnace

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Before you know it, winter will be here! If you live in Colorado, you know that the weather can turn from warm and moderate to cold and snowy almost overnight. Typically, there is a spell of cold weather in October or November, followed by a warming trend for a few weeks, and then winter hits altogether. The problem with the short spell of cold weather that typically hits during October or November is that it causes homeowners to rush to turn on their heat before their HVAC system has been tuned up for the cold season.

Now is a good time of year to call your furnace repair company to schedule your annual tune-up and maintenance. But besides scheduling your appointment, make sure to follow these seven steps which will make sure your furnace is ready to heat your home this winter:

  1. Change your air filter. During your annual furnace tune-up appointment, your furnace repair technician may replace your air filter with a new one. However, this is a task that you can complete on your own before your appointment if you think you will run your furnace before your scheduled furnace tune-up.
  2. Review the settings on your thermostat. You might not have looked at the winter settings on your thermostat for six months. Make sure to check that the settings are correct and make any necessary adjustments. If you have a programmable thermostat and you are unsure how to set it correctly, your furnace repair company should be able to assist you.
  3. Make sure all air vents are open. An HVAC system functions the best when the flow of air throughout your home is unobstructed. Therefore, make sure all air vents are open and that return air registers are not blocked by furniture or other items such as pictures or mirrors hanging on the wall.
  4. Clean the area around your furnace. If your home is set up like many, your furnace probably sits in a basement, a closet or a room that gets very little use. It’s likely that dust and debris gathered around the furnace over the course of many months. Make sure to sweep or vacuum the area that surrounds your furnace so the dust and debris is not pulled into the system when it runs.
  5. Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. A home’s carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be checked on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to make a habit of checking to make sure these safety items work well at the beginning of each and every season.
  6. Have your air ducts cleaned. Many people have their air ducts cleaned on an annual basis. If you want to make sure the dust, debris and pollutants are removed from your air vents before you turn on your furnace for the season, now is a good time to schedule your appointment.
  7. Turn on your furnace and make sure it works. The best way to know if your furnace is set for cold weather is to test it. Wait for a cool day and turn on the system. Make sure it heats your home to the temperature you desire.

Should I Replace My Furnace?

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Should I Replace My Furnace?  Here Are Some TipsThe Department of Energy and EPA researched the criteria homeowners should consider when deciding on whether to invest in a new furnace.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age as a result it may run longer to provide the same amount of heat, causing your gas & electric bills to go up.
  • The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping.
  • Increasing furnace repairs. As furnaces age service calls become more frequent and the bills begin to add up, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish!  Another consideration is the older the furnace, the harder it is to get replacement parts.
  • Don’t touch that thermostat!If are you always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable that could be a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep all your rooms comfortable.
  • Carbon Monoxide threat. Without sounding alarmist the older the furnace the higher the risk of poisonous carbon monoxide. A flame that is yellow instead of blue could be a sign of an unsafe furnace with possible cracks in the heat exchanger. Check with a certified Rheem Pro Partner technician for other signs if you are concerned.
  • Snap, crackle, pop. Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises that go bump in the night! Does your blower turn on & off frequently or does it blow cold air sometimes? If so, this is a sign that your furnace may need to be replaced.
  • Got that sneezy or wheezy feeling? Humidity and clean air in your home are essential to family members who suffer from allergies, Old furnaces lack the ability to humidify and clean the air in your home. New electronic filters and humidifiers for furnaces will help you breathe easier.

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