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Winter is Coming: 4 Ways to Prepare Your Furnace

The best way to prepare your furnace for winter and ensure your heating system is operating safely and efficiently year-round is with regular HVAC tune-ups.

By keeping your furnace on a regular maintenance schedule, you can avoid common furnace problems, prevent expensive repairs, increase your system's efficiency, and reduce your energy bills.

To make sure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape when winter rolls around, it’s recommended to service your HVAC system twice a year—once right before cooling season and once right before the heating season.

To help you make sure your furnace is prepped and ready to keep you and your family warm and comfortable all winter long, you should:

Do You Need Furnace Maintenance Now?

Scheduling your furnace maintenance with Michael & Son couldn't be easier. Our NATE-certified, licensed, and insured contractors will thoroughly inspect and repair your furnace to get it up and running in no time!

Select services are not available at all locations. Contact a location near you for service availability.

Replace Your Air Filter

Replacing dirty air filters is the easiest way to improve your HVAC energy efficiency and keep both your HVAC system and your family healthy.

Dirty or clogged air filters can cause a persistent burning smell to come from your furnace. So, if you’ve been running your furnace for a while and the burning smell hasn’t gone away, check your air filters first.

In addition to an unpleasant odor, dirty air filters can create a lot of problems for your furnace. If air can’t flow freely through your system because your air filters are dirty or clogged, different components of your furnace will be forced to work harder to move air. This can have a domino effect, leading to higher energy bills, overheating, or your furnace shutting down altogether.

The easiest way to avoid this is by replacing your air filters often. Learn more in our blog “How Often Should You Change Your Home Air Filter?”

Turn On Your Thermostat

Switch your thermostat settings from “cool” to “heat” and set the temperature a few degrees higher than your current room temperature. If you don’t hear your heating system kick on within a minute, you may need a professional HVAC technician to check to make sure all connections are secure, the power source is on, and your furnace is in working order. Keep an eye out for ​​any abnormal signs, such as loud noises, cold spots in your house, or persistent odors.

Over time, dirt and dust will build up and settle inside your furnace’s internal components– especially during the summer months when your furnace isn’t in use. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for people to notice odors coming from their furnace, especially when the furnace hasn’t been used in a while, (e.g., the first cold night in the winter). In most cases, people notice a burning smell that goes away after a few days.

If the burning smell persists, check to see if your air filter needs to be replaced. If not and you’re worried that something is wrong, contact a licensed HVAC technician for professional HVAC maintenance. If repairs are needed, it’s important to fix them sooner rather than later.

Ensure Your Home Is Properly Ventilated

Proper ventilation is key to keeping your furnace running efficiently.

Many modern furnaces require an external intake pipe for their air supply. If this pipe becomes clogged or blocked, your furnace will lose its efficiency, and in some cases, a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide can occur. If you have a high-efficiency furnace, make sure your intake and exhaust pipes on the exterior of your home are clear of ice, snow, bird nests, or other debris.

Anytime your air filter is clogged or your ventilation is obstructed in any way (such as blocked air return ducts), your furnace is at a higher risk of overheating. Blocked vents and poor ventilation prevents cool air from circulating into your system and traps heated air inside your furnace. When this happens, components in your furnace (like your heat exchanger or blower motor) can overheat and create a plastic burning smell, a total breakdown of your system, or worse.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Like other household appliances, your furnace will naturally wear over time and lose its efficiency. Regular maintenance is like getting an annual check-up at the doctor: they help make sure everything’s in working order and catch small issues before they turn into serious, expensive problems down the road.

During a furnace tune-up, a trained technician can perform a safety inspection, lubricate parts, clean off dust and dirt, change air filters, and more. That way, your furnace is primed for optimum performance. And when it doesn’t consume as much energy to heat your home, you’ll enjoy lower utility bills.

Need Furnace Maintenance? Call Michael & Son for a Furnace Tune-Up.

At Michael & Son, we offer honest, upfront pricing for all furnace services. Our heating techs provide the best customer service in the area and answer any questions you have about your furnace. Our work is backed by thousands of 5-star reviews from happy customers, and we proudly offer excellent financing plans to help make your air quality improvement more easily affordable. For upfront prices and fast, reliable service, give us a call today!

Select services are not available at all locations. Contact a location near you for service availability.

This blog was written on Dec 23, 2021. Any pricing information is subject to change.