Summer Furnace Maintenance 101
Posted on: July 14, 2016 | by: Will Housh
The temperature is beginning to rise at this time of year. With that comes more fun in the sun and the need to crank up the air conditioning, and to take a moment to do some summer furnace maintenance. Not surprisingly, we are no longer using the furnace and will not be doing so for several months until the weather gets cold again. While you may not think it to be true, this is the ideal time to do some maintenance on your furnace so that it is ready for next season. Here are some helpful tips to be proactive and get your furnace ready for winter…while it’s still summer.
Clean the Unit- As a rule of thumb, you should generally be cleaning your system whenever the season changes. This is especially important when you go from winter to summer, as your system will likely have a layer of debris and/or dust on the outside and inside components.. If you do not clean your unit regularly, your system may not operate efficiently because of the debris that got onto it. This can also cause long-term damage to your system. We recommend that you call a trained heating & cooling contractor to take care of this cleaning process to make sure it is done safely.
Change the Filter- If you have not read our guide to furnace filters, we strongly suggest doing so. Your filter should be changed at least every six months, and sometimes more often depending on its MERV rating. If the filter in your furnace becomes too dirty, your system will not run at its peak efficiency and could sustain long-term damage. This will also save you money on your electric bill all year long.
Electrical Checks- While we do not suggest that you go and handle electrical parts of your system unless you are trained to do so, it is a good idea to do a visual check to see if anything looks like it may need repaired, such as disconnected or loose wires . If you see something suspicious, you should get in touch with a trusted professional in your area to have these issues resolved before they become potentially dangerous.
Shop Around- It may not seem like it, but summer is the perfect time to buy a new furnace if you need to. Since this can be a lengthy process that involves several steps, the summer can be the ideal time to buy your furnace as you will not have to rush a decision just to keep your home warm like you would if it broke down in the winter. If you don’t know where to begin, check out our guide to buying a new furnace. Be sure to also get in touch with a licensed professional who can help you take the time to make the right decision this summer.
Switch off the Pilot Light- If you have an older furnace that still uses a pilot light, and since you’re not going to be using your furnace all summer, it makes sense to switch off the pilot light on your furnace. While your pilot light may not use a lot of fuel, leaving it on will not serve you any benefit. As such, it is a good idea to switch it off for the season. Plus, you will save a little bit of money, and every dollar counts!
Carbon Monoxide Detector- While your furnace is shut off for the season, it is a smart idea to install a carbon monoxide detector to be ready to monitor the air when the furnace is running. This is a great safety precaution to have in place in case anything goes wrong with your indoor air quality in the winter. This can also detect air problems that may be caused by issues with your furnace.
Call the Professionals- Let’s face it: not everyone is an expert on how to maintain their system. If you are unsure if your system is in good condition or you aren’t trained to perform maintenance on your own, now is a good time to call in a certified professional. If you do not have a contractor that you trust, contact us and we will get you in touch with a pre-screened, HVAC.com Certified Contractor in your area today!
You’re Ready for Summer & Winter
We would all rather be relaxing in the warmth of summer and not worrying about the cold of winter and the challenges it can bring. Maintaining your furnace right now will allow you to both be ready for winter and enjoy the summer ahead. To learn more about furnace maintenance, check out our definitive guide to heating. If the thought of making sure your furnace is ready feels like too much, don’t worry! The HVAC.com Contractor Network will help make sure your system is ready to go once winter begins. Get in touch with us today!