Staying warm during the frigid winter months is a priority to ensure the comfort and health of your entire family. Your furnace is critical to this effort and provides the warmth necessary to keep pipes running freely and other systems operating at peak efficiency. Here are seven tips for ensuring that your heating system is in optimal working order for the cold months ahead.

Replace Your Filter

Replacing your furnace filter regularly can help prevent serious issues with your furnace. Clogged filters can cause wear and tear on blower motors, the components that force air through vents and into the living areas of your home. Additionally, old filters can break down and create debris that can damage other parts of your furnace.

Check the Thermostat

Especially for older heating systems, replacing the thermostat with a newer programmable system can reduce energy costs and provide greater control over the climate inside your house even when you are not home. By lowering temperatures during the day and increasing heating just prior to your arrival home, you can reduce the workload of your furnace and reduce your heating bills throughout the winter months.

Clear the Area

Removing any flammable materials from around the area of your furnace can ensure unrestricted air flow and can reduce the risk of fires that can endanger your home and family. Experts recommend leaving a three-foot perimeter around the furnace for optimal safety; under no circumstances should you store flammable material near the ductwork leading away from your furnace.

Schedule an Inspection

A professional heating and cooling technician can provide comprehensive inspection services for your furnace. This can identify any developing issues to ensure the safety of your family and your belongings. Malfunctioning furnaces can sometimes emit dangerous or toxic gases that can lead to fires or injuries for you or your family. By checking the furnace before the worst of winter cold hits, you can enjoy warmth and comfort while protecting the safety of your home and your loved ones.

Clean Your Air Ducts

Professional air duct cleaning can improve the quality of your indoor air while reducing stress on your furnace. The blower motor of your heating and cooling system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. By reducing resistance by cleaning your ducts, you can ensure the best flow of air and the most efficient performance from your furnace.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Making an appointment each spring and fall with a professional heating and cooling company can ensure that all necessary maintenance is performed on time and to the proper specifications. Worn belts can be replaced and any malfunctioning switches can be returned to proper working order. This can significantly increase the longevity of your system and can help to prevent unexpected breakdowns during the winter months.

Plan for Replacement

If your furnace is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it with a newer, high-efficiency model to reduce your heating bills and to increase your comfort on cold winter mornings. Planning for furnace replacement before a complete breakdown occurs can help you manage this major financial investment more easily.

By taking time to prepare for winter before it arrives, you can enjoy worry-free performance from your furnace and improved comfort for you and your family.