Effective Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter in Big Bear, CA
Winter is approaching again, and most people already have a checklist to get through before the cold weather arrives. If you do not have one, this is the best time to draw up a list to help you prepare in advance. Preparing your furnace for winter should be one of the tasks at the top of that list. Knowing how chilling the colder months can be, you should not need anyone to tell you that getting your home ready for winter is as important as updating your wardrobe.
We have written this post to help you take care of one of the most important items on your winter checklist. This post will provide some effective tips to prepare your furnace for winter. So bookmark this page or jot them somewhere. You should also not delay carrying out the tasks involved as things can get hectic once the cold kicks in.
Important Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Winters in Big Bear, CA
This list is not exhaustive but will provide more than the basic knowledge you need to prepare your furnace for winter. You can do the preparation by yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating is one of the best HVAC experts in California, and you can hire us to help you prepare your furnace for winter. However, if you decide to go the DIY way, here is a checklist for you:
Change the Furnace Filters
The filters are one of the most important parts of your furnace. The filters trap dirt and other particles that may be dangerous to your furnace. Unfortunately, due to this function, the filters tend to get dirty and clogged easily. The downside is that when your furnace filters are clogged, it affects the air that comes in and makes the system work harder to produce the same amount of heat.
Therefore, as winter approaches, you should check your furnace filters and change them if necessary. It is recommended that you change your furnace filters between one to three months. Of course, there are some exceptions, with newer models of HVAC systems where you don’t have to change the filters so often. But, you should change the filters for the standard furnaces to save yourself some headache and increased energy bills when it fully kicks in.
Check the Thermostat
After the filters, you should check your thermostat. It is one of the core parts of your HVAC system and should always be in top shape. Before winter rolls in, do some fine-tuning on your thermostat. Start by turning on the heat. Then, gradually increase the temperature. Listen for any sound that may be out of place.
You can also look at the wire connections and ensure that everything is attached properly. All of these efforts will help you know if something needs to be fixed. If there is, get it done as soon as possible. If your thermostat is an old model, you can also consider upgrading to one of the smart thermostats revolutionizing the HVAC markets now.
Check the Heat Exchanger
Before you need to use your furnace, you should check the state of your heat exchanger. Ideally, you brush and vacuum this part gently. This act will remove any dirt that may affect the heat exchanger from pushing the needed heat into your home.
While cleaning the heat exchanger, you should look for cracks or signs of moisture. A crack in the heat exchanger may lead to a leak of carbon monoxide. This chemical is a colorless, odorless compound that is dangerous and may put the lives of your family at risk.
Clean the Air Ducts
Open the air ducts and clean them all. Due to a lack of use over the warmer months, the furnace ducts and vents may have accumulated dirt and dust. These contaminants will prevent the system from working properly, so you need to get rid of them. Aside from reducing the outflow of heat, they can also drive your energy bills up by making your furnace work extra to keep the temperature at the desired level.
You should check to ensure that all the air ducts are opened and functioning. Blocked air ducts will prevent heat from circulating around your home. It is not only dust blocking the air ducts and vents; household fixtures are sometimes guilty. Check if any curtain, furniture, or blanket is blocking the vents and move them out of the way.
Cover the AC Condenser
It is very easy to get carried away by the internal units that you forget the outdoor unit. You should protect your AC condenser before you step fully into winter. Cover the unit with a large object big enough to protect it from the weather and other items. You should also ensure that the covering is secured to prevent cold wind from blowing it away.
However, you should not make the mistake of covering the condenser with a plastic tarp. This type of covering is risky because it can cause moisture to build around the unit. In addition, this can cause significant problems when the warmer months roll around. Knowing this, find a large trash can cover and use cords to secure it down to protect your condenser from harm.
Remove Flammable Items Away from the Surrounding Area
It is not only the parts of the furnace that need attention when you are preparing your furnace for winter. You also need to cater to surrounding areas that affect the functioning of your furnace. For starters, you should remove any flammable item that may be around the furnace area. Doing this may prevent an accident if your furnace starts acting up unexpectedly during the first few days of winter.
Non-flammable items should also be removed from the furnace area. These include household utensils, books, keys, and other items that may have been placed around the furnace during the warmer months when the furnace was not in use.
Fill Up the Gas if That’s Your Furnace’s Fuel
Furnaces have different fuel types, and if yours is using gas, part of your preparation is to fill up the gas before winter sets in. You can call Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating to help you fill the gas up. Doing this early will reduce the cost you’ll incur, as gas is usually more expensive during the cold of the winter than during the late summer days.
Whatever fuel your furnace uses, do some stocking up and protect yourself from enduring long cold nights if the fuel suddenly finishes during winter.
Call a Professional to Do a Checkup in in Big Bear, CA
All that has been said is good but do not remove from the fact that it is ideal to leave a technical job for those who are best at it. While preparing your furnace for the winter can be an exciting project, doing it yourself does not guarantee the best result. What brings that assurance is having experts do a thorough checkup on your HVAC system before a new season commences.
Professionals in HVAC systems know what to look out for during summer checkups. The professionals will check every part of your unit and see if anything needs to be fixed or replaced. In addition, you can schedule with your plumbers to always check in before the commencement of a new season.
Following these tips will help you prepare your furnace for the winter. It is very easy to procrastinate and keep shifting the date to do these things. However, you should remember how brutal the first day of winter usually is and get to work immediately.
Other Things to Note While Preparing your furnace for winter
So far, this guide has offered you some effective tips to prepare your furnace for winter. However, there are other things you may want to know when it comes to furnaces. We have examined some of them below:
Change Your Furnace
As winter approaches, you should consider changing your furnace if the unit you are currently using is old. Old furnaces can stop working anytime and expose your family to the harsh realities of winter, such as frostbite, fever, and constant sniffles. To protect yourself from this, you should consider changing your furnace to a better one. Buying a good furnace can be a great investment in the long run.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Even if your thermostat is still usable but old, you should consider upgrading to a newer version. Smart thermostats are the trend now and are highly effective at keeping your house warm and saving energy bills. This double goal is achieved by conditioning the thermostat such that it senses when no one is in the house and reduces the heat to a minimum.
When people are inside the house, it raises the temperature to suit the demand accordingly. By reducing the heat when not in use, these thermostats help save valuable dollars on energy costs. They are also very easy to use as you can operate your thermostat remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
Buy Spare Filters
We mentioned earlier that clean filters are important and they must be changed often. After changing your filter for the new season, you can also buy some spare ones to prepare for the next time you change the filters.
Prepare Your Home
Finally, you need to prepare your home as part of the tasks involved in preparing your furnace for winter. Ensure that all the air ducts and vents are opened and cleaned. Check the unused rooms and ensure that you turn off the heater for those rooms. Close windows and block any outlet heat can be escaping through. All of these will help you optimize the heat generated by your furnace and keep your house toasty warm throughout winter.
Reach Out to Us in Big Bear, CA
When you need experts to advise you or help with any issue related to your HVAC system, you should reach out to us at Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating. We have a skilled team of HVAC experts in Big Bear, CA who will provide answers to any question you may have and fix any problem with your furnace. You should also visit our blog to read more about caring for your furnace and maintaining your HVAC system.