How To Prepare Your Furnace For Winter

How To Prepare Your Furnace For Winter

The worst thing that can happen during winter is spending most of your time in a house that’s no better than outdoors in terms of temperature.

During this season, you need your home to be warm and comfortable; hence your furnace has to function at its best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes your savior on cold days—your furnace, might fail or struggle to produce the much-needed heat due to mechanical or electrical issues.  Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your furnace functions as it should throughout the winter.

From hiring a reputable HVAC company to fix your broken furnace to replacing the air filter and checking the thermostat, here are some furnace preparations for effective operation during winter.

Tips To Make Your Furnace Ready For Winters

Do An Inspection

The first thing to do in preparing your furnace for winter is to perform an inspection. For gas furnaces, ensure the venting pipes are properly and tightly secured. The drainage tubes should also be secured and fastened.

You should also check the gas line and determine if there’s a gas leak. If you detect any unusual smell, consider calling a trained HVAC contractor to assess the issue.

For electric furnaces, check if there are any visible damages. If the furnaces are in good condition, proceed to the next steps.

Schedule Furnace Maintenance

To ensure an effective and energy-efficient furnace, it’s vital to schedule maintenance. While you can schedule furnace maintenance at any time of the year, having it before the onset of winter is the most appropriate time considering it is when you need the system the most.

However, you should ensure to schedule regular maintenance with professionals such as HVAC company Fairfax station to benefit from expert solutions.

Such professionals will not only adjust the furnace to perform at its best during winter but also spot any possible issues that may occur amid a cold season and rectify them accordingly.

Replace The Air Filters

Dust and other foreign particles always find their way into the furnace. When these particles accumulate inside the appliance filter, it’s less likely to function as it should, and it might require more energy to run.

For this reason, replacing the air filters is vital, especially before winter, since this is when you need the appliance to function better than ever.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to note that furnace filters should be replaced regularly for optimum performance. Therefore, you should replace the air filters at least once every one to three months, depending on the type of filters and the weather.

Remember, a dry, dusty climate might require frequent air filter replacement since dust is more likely to accumulate in the air filters faster.

Clear The Ducts

As with air filters, the air ducts, too, should be clear and clean to ensure the furnace runs efficiently. These ducts are responsible for  circulating warm air in your home; hence they should always be free from obstructions.

If the furnace air ducts aren’t clean, the appliance will experience difficulty supplying the quality air you need in winter. It’s vital to ensure no dirt, dust, pet dander, or other debris are getting into your furnace so it can function effortlessly.

A struggling furnace requires more energy to run, increasing the energy bill. Therefore, ensure the air ducts are cleared professionally before the onset of winter, or DIY if you’re experienced in such tasks.

Check The Thermostat

It’s vital to ensure the thermostat communicates accurately with the heating system for optimum performance. If it doesn’t, the furnace will have difficulty functioning.

To check if the thermostat is operating correctly, increase the temperature to a point where it should start supplying heat. Consider changing the batteries if the thermostat doesn’t signal to the furnace.

The thermostat might require replacement if it doesn’t work even after replacing the batteries.

Clear Your Furnace’s Intake Pipes

Did you know that your furnace efficiency depends on your home’s ventilation?

Most modern furnaces use external intake pipes for air supply. When these pipes are obstructed, the furnace stops working efficiently and might lead to dangerous buildups like carbon monoxide.

If your home uses a high-efficiency furnace, ensure the exterior intake and exhaust pipes are clear of bird nests, snow, and other debris.

When your ventilation is obstructed, the furnace is more likely to overheat. Blocked vents hinder cool air from accessing the system, trapping heat inside.

In such a case, components such as heat exchangers might heat up, producing a burning plastic smell. In severe cases, the system might shut down.

Invest In A Humidifier

During the cold season, it’s common for air to lack moisture. Without moisture, heat doesn’t transfer effectively through the air. This leads to making the place colder.

Luckily a humidifier recharges the air with moisture, making it easy for heat to move freely in your home. When this happens, the furnace is relieved of pressure, allowing it to function better.

There are different kinds of humidifiers in the market, with some designed to be installed directly onto the heating system. Therefore, finding a humidifier that works better for you will be easy.

Clear The Vents

After your heating system has produced the heat, it passes through the vents to distribute evenly throughout your home. However, if these vents are clogged and obstructed, the furnace won’t be able to supply enough heat to your home.

While vents are easily clogged, they’re also easy to clean. To thoroughly clean them, remove the protective panel and use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate the debris. If you clear the vents regularly, your furnace won’t have challenges functioning in winter.


During winter, you would likely spend most of your time indoors to keep warm. That is when you need your furnace to function better.

Therefore, it’s vital to perform a thorough check-up and change components that require replacement to prevent your furnace from failing to operate as it should in winter.

It might also be a good idea to hire a professional who can inspect the system and advise you on the steps to take to ensure consistent warm air during the cold season.

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