As seasons change, homeowners have to ensure their homes are ready for the upcoming weather. While many people will think about things like making sure the outside faucets are covered, there are also other tasks that need to be taken care of. For individuals who live in Las Vegas and the surrounding area, winters are a time that requires preparation to ensure your home can remain at a comfortable temperature.
The coldest winter nights can dip to around 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so making sure the furnace is ready to warm up the home on those nights is critical. Homeowners with a gas furnace should take steps now to do this so they have peace of mind about its functionality when the temperatures drop.
Schedule Professional Furnace Maintenance
Scheduling an appointment to have the gas furnace inspected and maintained helps to ensure it’s in the best shape possible to work through the winter. There are several things that our technicians take care of during these appointments.
Ideally, you will schedule furnace maintenance, including a comprehensive inspection, before the colder nights show up. Even if the furnace was working at the end of the previous winter, it’s still important to have this service before you turn the gas furnace on for the first time this year. Our technicians will perform each of the following steps.
1. Replace the Air Filter
A clean air filter enables the furnace to run efficiently. It also helps to keep the air in the home as clean as possible. One unexpected effect of a clean air filter is that you may notice the air in the home seems fresher. Your heating bill should improve once the filter is clean due to improved efficiency. This is because the air can flow a bit better through a clean filter.
Air filters can either be changed or washed, depending on the time. Typically, the filter needs to be changed every one to three months. Our technicians can schedule these changes for you so they know it’s taken care of regularly.
2. Check the Pilot Light
The pilot light must be lit so the furnace can turn on when it’s time. Problems with the pilot light will often go unnoticed until the furnace doesn’t ignite. Our technician will inspect the pilot light to ensure it’s working as it should.
Most notably, the pilot light shouldn’t be flickering or have a yellow flame because those are the two signs that something is amiss with it. A pilot light that’s working properly will burn steadily, and the flame should be blue.
3. Clean the Furnace Unit
Ensuring the furnace is clean can help improve the unit’s efficiency, which can positively impact the heat flow. As our technician cleans the unit, they will inspect everything to determine if anything needs to be repaired or replaced before the unit is put to the test over the winter.
Cleaning the furnace involves more than just wiping down the exterior. It’s possible the dust and other debris have collected within the unit. The technician can clean these when they have the unit open to inspect it.
4. Check the Thermostat
The thermostat determines when the furnace ignites and turns off. If it doesn’t ignite, this means that you won’t have the heat you need. A unit not turning off can cause the home to get too hot and can cause undue wear on the furnace.
In some cases, the thermostat will need to be replaced. This is common when you have an older unit because those thermostats don’t have a lot of the energy-efficient modes that newer thermostats have. Our technician can discuss the options with you so you can determine which one will work best for your needs.
5. Check the Ductwork
Clean ductwork allows the air to move freely throughout the home. A blocked duct can mean specific rooms in the home don’t get heat. A dirty duct system can also release contaminants, including allergens, around the home.
Cleaning the ductwork improves efficiency and can keep the air in your home as crisp as possible throughout the winter. Considering how much time you’ll likely spend in the home during the colder months, you can imagine how important it is to have clean ductwork in the home.
6. Replace Any Worn Components
Worn components reduce the efficiency of the furnace, so these should be replaced. Rust, corrosion, and cracks are signs that these parts should be replaced. It’s better to replace these now instead of having the unit fail during the winter when you’re counting on it for heat. Some components, such as those that move, may need to be oiled to continue moving freely.
Uncover Any Blocked Vents
Blocked vents reduce heat around the home. Intake vents need to remain unblocked because they provide the air that enables the unit to function properly and remain cool despite producing heat. The vents that allow heat into rooms need to be clear so the heated air doesn’t cause anything to overheat.
Determine Thermostat Settings
Another step in ensuring your gas furnace is ready for the winter is determining the most comfortable and efficient possible. If you have a Wi-Fi thermostat or one that’s able to be preset, now is the time to get this taken care of so that you know your home will be warmer when you’re home and possibly a little cooler when you aren’t home. This can help you to save money on your heating bill throughout the winter.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms are important for any home that has a gas furnace because there is a chance that the unit may release this toxic substance. If you already have carbon monoxide alarms, you should make sure they have new batteries and are working as intended. Having carbon monoxide alarms installed is critical if you don’t have any in place now.
Consider Installing an Air Purifier
An air purifier in the home can help to keep the air clean. When the air is cleaner in the home, the furnace won’t have to work as hard because there won’t be as much caught by the furnace filter. Having an air purifier installed in the home is a much easier solution to keeping the air clean than using smaller portable purifiers in your home.
Ensure the House is Insulated
A furnace can work as hard as possible, but there may be cold spots in the home if there isn’t suitable insulation. Heat rises, so you should ensure the attic insulation and roof are in good condition. Walls can also have heat loss, so you must be sure the insulation is suitable there.
Contact Polar Air & Heating, Inc. Today
The best time to get the furnace maintained and serviced is before the temperatures get too low. This gives you time to have potential problems addressed or even get a new unit if the current unit needs to be replaced. You don’t want to worry about how to stay warm when the nights turn frigid. In addition to providing routine maintenance on your furnace, we offer top-notch heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality services.
Contact our professional team at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today to schedule an appointment to take care of your gas furnace and get your home ready for winter.