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Prepping Your Furnace for the Winter Months

Winter season is right around the corner. In Albuquerque, we are about to see the temperature drop down to a minimum of 27°F. You may not be using your furnace yet, but soon, things will be cold enough where you simply must have it running.

You’ll need your furnace in tip-top shape, so you don’t risk it breaking down in the freezing cold. Yet, homeowners often don’t know much about dealing with their furnace or how to clean it for the upcoming cold season. 

But don’t worry, if you reside in Albuquerque and need HVAC or plumbing services, B. CARLSON is there for you with professional assistance. Yet, there are also some things you can do on your own.

Let’s take a look at furnace maintenance you can do on your own this winter season.

Change the Air Filters

You probably know what an air filter is. As much as consumers hate to mess with changing them, it is one of the most vital parts of keeping your furnace running well.

By the end of each winter season, the air filter gets packed with all the harmful residues produced by the flame. To ensure your family’s safety in the upcoming season, make sure you have installed new air filters.

Turn On the Thermostat

Once you have successfully replaced the old and clogged air filters, the next important task is to check whether or not the thermostat is in working condition.

To do so, turn it on and keep it set to warmer settings  instead of cooler ones. Crank it up a few degrees higher than its usual level. If you notice the needle isn’t moving, that is the time to check for issues.

Maintain the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is like the core working body of the whole furnace. If your heat exchanger is not cleaned and properly functioning, you can say goodbye to the idea of home heating in the upcoming winter months.

Don’t try to clear the heat exchanger on your own, as it is dangerous and often requires professional training to execute successfully. Once you have contacted a professional, they will visit you for a heat exchanger health check once a year.

Cover the AC Condenser

Okay, this isn’t technically part of the furnace, but an AC condenser requires protection from the harsh winter season. The AC unit becomes redundant until next summer, unless you’re using an HVAC system. Sitting unused can cause potential issues for your condenser.

To protect your condenser, cover it with a specialized cover that will keep your condenser safe from the elements. You can also use a wrapping cloth or a cover made from a similar material to do the job.

Check the Furnace Igniter

What’s the point of having a whole embedded furnace mechanism in your home if the igniter switch doesn’t work? 

Surprisingly, the igniter switch is the most vulnerable furnace component. It’s prone to damage from cold and harsh weather coming your way in the next few months.

Generally, the primary issue is the blocking of the igniter switch due to lack of usage. You can resolve this issue in most cases simply by igniting the switch a few times. If the problem remains, try checking for some kind of pipe leakage within the internal columns.

Clean the Blower Motor

Cleaning the blower motor from time to time is a great idea for maintaining the furnace. With a super functional blower motor, the airflow will remain uniform which means constant warm airflow in the winter months.

But, you need to make sure of one thing. Before lubricating your motor, go through the user manual and make sure that the manual states that your furnace motor requires lubrication from time to time. If not, then lubricating your motor will have adverse effects rather than helping to maintain the warm airflow.

Replace the Oil Filter

This point is only applicable for the motors that work with oil and fuel. Again, to ensure the type of fuel your furnace works on, you need to go through the user manual.

If the answer is affirmative, you can go with a new oil filter. If it doesn’t have one, you obviously can’t replace it.

Unlike gas-powered furnaces, oil-powered furnace models require occasional changing of the oil filter in order to maintain exceptional results. The oil filter must also be replaced by a professional as it can be pretty risky, depending upon the construction of the furnace.

Checking the CO Detectors

Last but not least, make sure that the CO filters and detectors show that the CO range within your house is safe. As much pain as it is, carbon monoxide suffocation is a sad but avoidable cause of death in the United States.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can only be detected by using specified CO detectors. Make sure you understand that CO detectors can sometimes malfunction but still appear to be working.

It’s Okay to Get a Little Help

As much as the furnace helps us to stay warm within our homes during the winter months, it also requires maintenance from time to time. 

If you reside in Albuquerque, B. Carlson is here for you. We have years of experience in the field of HVAC handling, furnace repair, and dealing with plumbing-related issues. 

With our experts on board, you can ensure that your furnace is in working condition, no matter how harsh the winter months are. We are here to help make your winter nights comfortable. Contact us today for a quote.

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