While heating maintenance may not seem like the most crucial thing to do during the summer, it can be an important way to prepare for fall and winter heating needs. You don't want to be stuck without a functional heating system during the first cold snap of the fall.
Here are some tips to make sure your heating system will be ready to use in the fall.
1. Keep the duct system clear of blockages
If your air conditioning uses the same duct system your furnace uses, the use of your AC system will help ensure that air can flow through the ducts. After all, if the duct was totally blocked off by nesting wildlife, you'd notice that your cold air wasn't distributing properly during the summer.
However, frequent AC use can also cause dust buildup on the floors of ducts over time, especially if the ducts are leaky and pulling unfiltered air in, or if you don't change the intake filters often. So check to see if you need a duct cleaning if your ducts are used for both the AC and the furnace.
2. Have the system inspected
A safety inspection before you start regularly using your furnace can be invaluable. A gas furnace can have several safety considerations. For example, the technician can inspect for any gas leaks and check to ensure that the heat exchanger isn't cracked and allowing carbon monoxide into the air stream.
3. Keep an eye out for pests
If pests take up residence near your furnace or in the ductwork, you could have a lot of damage to take care of before being able to use the system properly. Rodents can be particularly destructive. So keep an eye out for pests and consider using traps such as glue traps to monitor for their presence so you'll know if they start trying to move in.
4. Tidy and clean around the furnace
During the summer, you may have taken to storing items near the furnace since it wasn't in use. You'll need to remove any items near the furnace in order to avoid fire hazards. You'll also want to clean any dust from the area around the furnace and from the furnace itself. For instance, the pilot light and burners may need to be cleaned. If you're not familiar with the process of cleaning the furnace itself, you can ask your technician to do it during an inspection or maintenance visit.
These tips can help you maintain and monitor the furnace in your home so that you'll have some idea of its condition and won't have any unpleasant surprises when you go to turn it on in the chilly fall weather. For more information about caring for your furnace during the off-season, get in touch with a heating system maintenance company today.