Now that winter is almost officially here, take the steps necessary to ensure that your home is able to remain warm and cozy throughout the season. With that being said, one of the most important maintenance tasks that you need to focus on is furnace upkeep.

Your furnace is responsible for producing the warm air that circulates through your home and keeps you from freezing your toes off when the temperatures are frigid outside. Luckily, the routine maintenance tasks that you can do to ensure your furnace runs efficiently are relatively easy.

1. Check and Replace the HVAC Air Filters

You should check the air filter in your furnace every month, according to Energy Star. Replace the filter if it appears dirty. If you are unsure whether the filter is dirty, hold the filter up to a light source. If you are unable to see light shining through it, then it is too dirty to allow airflow to move through it efficiently. This means it requires replacement immediately.

Ultimately, filter replacement should occur at a minimum of every three months, according to Energy Star. When replacing your filter, make sure that you purchase the right size filter. Make sure to size the filter for your specific furnace and fit inside the compartment snugly.

2. Clean and Clear the Vents

Prior to switching your furnace on for the season, if you haven’t already, take off your vent covers from the ceilings, walls, and floors all throughout the home. Take your vacuum so that you can suck up all of the dust and debris that has accumulated around the openings of the ducts. Make sure to vacuum the covers as well. Believe it or not, a significant amount of debris can accumulate in these areas.

The reason that you vacuum around the duct openings and the vent covers is because any amount of dust, food, pet hair, and other particles can significantly impact the flow of air. This reduction in airflow will result in your heating system working harder than necessary.

3. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when furnaces burn oil or gas in order to produce heat for your home, they also produce carbon monoxide, which is an extremely dangerous and odorless gas. Therefore, if your home does not currently have a carbon monoxide detector, install one.

In fact, the recommendation is to install carbon monoxide detectors near each bedroom. These detectors will automatically alert you if a carbon monoxide leak is present in your home. Make sure to change the batteries in your detectors annually.

4. Schedule a Professional Tune-up

When maintaining your furnace, you can only do so many tasks yourself. You will also need to contact a professional to perform an annual tune-up on your heating system, which can help prevent expensive repairs later on. During a tune-up, a professional technician will perform a series of tasks to ensure your furnace works correctly.

He or she will inspect the thermostat, make sure the system cycles on and off correctly, lubricate the moving parts of the system, clean the burner, inspect the gas connections, tighten necessary electrical connections, and check for cracks in the system’s heat exchanger.

Your heating system is essential for ensuring your home is warm and comfortable during the colder months of the year. By tackling the aforementioned maintenance tasks, you will be well on your way to making sure that your furnace is in good working order now and all winter.

When you need to schedule a professional tune-up, rely on the technicians at Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.