Your furnace probably served you faithfully all winter long and perhaps even a bit into the spring. But now, warmer weather is on the way and it's time to shut it down until it's needed again in the fall. When the time comes, shuttling down furnace should involve more than just flipping a switch. If you want the furnace to still be in good shape when you need it again, here's what you need to know.
Scrub and Wash
Your furnace has likely picked up a great deal of soot and other gunk while in operation over the last number of months. You probably didn't want to both spending too much time on cleaning while it was still in regular operation because it was just going to get dirty again. But now, with the break in the weather, it's time to give it a deep cleaning. Make sure the furnace is disconnected and open it up. Use a soft bristle brush to wipe away any soot you find. After you get rid of the gunk that can be removed easily, you might want to take a pressure washer to the outside of the furnace—just be absolutely sure you are not going to use it again anytime soon.
Clean or Change the Filter
Your furnace's filter is critical to its efficient operation. You should really be changing the filter more often than just once per season if it is seeing heavy use, but at the very least, you should pay special attention to it as you are about to close the furnace down for the summer. For future reference, a white or gray filter is probably OK, but the blacker the filter becomes, the more difficult it is going to be for your furnace to do its job effectively. If you have central air conditioning, your furnace might be set up to help circulate the conditioned air during the summer even when it's not actually heating anything. A clean air filter installed at the end of spring or start of summer will help your furnace and entire HVAC system with this task.
It's Time for an Inspection
You should ideally get your furnace checked by a professional at least once if not twice a year. The two best times are probably right before winter begins and at some point in the spring when you are sure the warm weather outside isn't going anywhere. A professional furnace contractor may be able to notice potential problems that you wouldn't see on your own. The furnace can then be repaired properly before it has to start heating the house again in the fall.
Contact a company such as Polar Aire Heating & Cooling Inc to schedule an appointment.
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