Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?

Posted by – Jeff Spencer, Building Official

When’s the last time you had your furnace inspected by a qualified contractor?

It’s officially cold outside!

So, you most likely have turned on your furnace over the past few weeks.  Do you know if it’s operating safely and efficiently?

Many are not aware that failure to perform regular maintenance on gas appliances may result in exposure to carbon monoxide.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can cause drowsiness, flu-like symptoms, and even death.

To insure for a safe and joyous holiday season, now would be a good time to have your furnace inspected by a qualified heating contractor and invest in a carbon monoxide detector, if you have not done so already.

Here are some important maintenance checks:

  1. Check the filter once a month to determine if it needs replacing.  A dirty filter blocks the flow of warm air and wastes energy.
  2. Check for rust and corrosion on the vent pipe connected to the chimney.  Make sure it’s secure at both ends.  Also ,make sure the chimney and vent pipe are free of obstructions, such as leaves or nests.
  3. To test for blocked vents or chimneys’ turn on your furnace for ten minutes.  Hold your hand under the vent hood (see your owner’s manual).  If hot air comes out, it could be a sign of blockage.
  4. Replace vents and flue pipes that have weak spots, rust, or cracks.  Even small openings can allow dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to collect in your home.
  5. Replace worn belts.  Lubricate the blower, fan bearings, and pumps unless the model you have doesn’t require lubrication (be sure to check your owner’s manual).
  6. Remove lint, dust, and debris from air ducts and registers.
  7. Make sure the furnace door is closed when the furnace is operating.
  8. Repair water leaks in the boiler and supply pipes.

We hope you find this information useful in your desire to stay warm and save energy this winter and holiday season.