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Prep Your Furnace for Winter Before You Crank Up the Heat

Pretty soon our long, hot summer will be a distant memory and we’ll be turning on the furnace. Usually, Kansas City has a few days or weeks of comfortable temperatures when running the air conditioner or furnace isn’t necessary. This is the best time to make sure your furnace is ready for the upcoming winter. That first really cold day isn’t when you want to discover your furnace isn’t working properly or not at all. Plus, annual furnance maintenance ensures you won’t spend a dime more than you need to on utility bills, extends the life of the furnace and decrease furnace repair bills.

Change the air filter

Changing the air filter might just be the single least expensive, easiest thing you can do to maintain your furnace. A dirty filter blocks airflow restricting the warm air circulating through your home. Your thermostat registers cooler and kicks on the furnace, which makes it work a lot harder than it should and can cause overheating. Overheating and constant on/off running dramatically shortens a furnace’s life. In other words, changing the filter on a regular basis saves hundreds on utility bills (since the furnace runs less) and can save thousands on replacement.

Inspect the heat exchanger

Inspecting the heat exchanger for cracks can be lifesaving. Cracks in the heat exchanger are one of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning. A crack leaks carbon monoxide, which is blown through the ducts and into your home.

Inspect the flue pipes and exhaust vents

Again, blockages in your flue or exhaust vents can lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Birds are notorious for building nests in flues and vents and they need be inspected and cleaned out to keep your family safe. Otherwise, exhaust doesn’t vent properly and backs up in your home.

Clean the inside of the furnace

Cleaning the blower allows air to circulate like it should. The motor is checked for worn bearings, which can shorten the furnace’s life. And finally, the burner is inspected for wear and cleaned of any ash. The flame sensor is a piece that sits inside the furnace where ash can build up. Too much build up causes it to turn off, meaning the furnace won’t light.

Check gas pressure

Too high or too low of gas pressure causes the furnace’s flames to burn too hot or too cold. The furnace heats up and shuts down too soon or not soon enough. This leads to poor efficiency performance and shortens the furnace’s lifespan.

Schedule your fall furnace maintenance appointment now. You’ll not only be protecting your family from potential hazards, you’ll also increase the efficiency of your system, improve your air quality and prevent a potentially expensive replacement or repair later.

United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers maintenance agreements that involve our technicians performing a comprehensive inspection. It’s a small investment to keep your furnace running properly and efficiently for years to come.