8 Winter Tips for Your Kennewick Heating System

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October 13, 2021
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8 Winter Tips for Your Kennewick Heating System

Heating Tips for the Winter in Kennewick, WA

When winter comes, don’t be left out in the cold. If your home has a furnace, now is the right time to prepare it for winter so your family can stay warm throughout the season. Here, we’ll offer eight easy tips to prepare your home’s heating system for the coldest months of the year.

1. Check the Thermostat

Before switching your HVAC system from cooling to heating mode, it may need a tune-up. Turn the thermostat to the heat setting and gradually increase the temperature until it’s several degrees higher than the indoor temp.

Wait for the heat to come on. If it doesn’t, assess the condition of the wiring under the furnace cover. When the heat is turned on for the first time in a season, it’s also a good time to check the heat pump, furnace fan, or blower. By calling us early on, you’re more likely to address issues before winter comes.

2. Change the Air Filter

Ideally, air filters should be changed once a month. Replacing them monthly keeps contaminants out of the system, preventing costly damage and helping your family breathe easier. If you have pets that produce a lot of shedding, you will want to check the filter more often.

3. Inspect the Heat Exchanger

Each year, you should have your system’s heat exchanger brushed and vacuumed by a professional. While this step may seem simple, it does much to prolong your furnace’s lifespan and keep it running efficiently.

When we inspect residential heating systems, we’ll look for cracks that may lead to potentially deadly carbon monoxide leaks. A thorough cleaning offers an opportunity to identify issues while getting your system ready for winter.

4. Protect the Condenser

If your home is equipped with a heat pump, you can skip this step. However, if you’re using a furnace, fall is the best time to protect the system’s condenser. This component is vulnerable to damage from falling debris, and repairs can be costly. To protect the furnace’s condenser, cover it with a piece of plywood or a trash can lid. Don’t use a tarp, as it can cause moisture buildup and mold growth.

5. Schedule a Heating System Inspection

To prepare for winter, call us for a thorough furnace inspection. This service points out any potential issues before they become major problems. Our trained technicians will look for coil damage, pressure problems, and proper airflow, and they’ll also do a visual inspection of the exchanger. Because furnaces have numerous moving parts, it’s best to leave the pre-season inspections to the professionals.

6. Look at the Vents

Before the first cold snap, dust and clean all your registers and vents. Clean vents allow warm air to move freely while making it easier for your home’s furnace to operate at peak efficiency. If there are vents along the baseboards or at floor level, ensure that they’re uncovered. Remove blankets, furniture, curtains, and other things that may cover the vents, and you’ll enjoy plenty of warm air as winter comes.

7. Examine the Ignitor Switch

If your gas furnace is older, it might be necessary to relight the pilot light. Modern furnaces typically have electronic ignitors that are activated by pushing a button. However, if that doesn’t work, use the reset button, or check the circuit breakers. When everything else fails, call us for an evaluation and potential switch replacement.

8. Get Your Home Ready

Aside from seasonal furnace maintenance, it’s also important to prepare the rest of your home for winter. Seal the doors and windows, looking for gaps and replacing worn weatherstripping. Set all ceiling fans to turn clockwise so they’ll circulate warm air and blow it downward. Ensure that the attic’s insulation is in good condition and replace or add to it if necessary. The more prepared your home is for winter, the easier your furnace’s job will be.

Winter Is Coming—Are You Ready?

Just because colder months are coming doesn’t mean you should worry about how you’ll prepare for the chill of winter. With proper maintenance and easy planning, your home’s furnace will be ready to handle anything winter throws at it. Whether you need heating repair and installation service, or AC repair, maintenance, and installation, our technicians will get the job done to your satisfaction. We also provide water heaters and fireplaces. Call Bruce Mechanical today to book an appointment or visit us online to get more winter preparation and energy-saving tips.