Here’s a quick checklist to follow when you’re getting ready to rest your furnace for the season:
1. Clean the Unit Inside and Out – Ideally, you should clean your HVAC unit every change of season, but this is especially crucial before you switch over from heating to cooling. Through fall and winter, your HVAC’s heating unit would have accumulated a light layer of dust and debris on the outside too.
If you leave it as is, you may find that the unit stops functioning effectively because of the debris got into it. Not only does this increase the risk of damage, but it can also turn into a fire hazard when you start using the furnace again.
2. Inspect and Change the Filters – The filters in your HVAC need to be checked from time to time, and changed on a regular schedule. Dirty or damaged filters can reduce the unit’s efficiency and leave it prone to damage, as well as wasting electricity and putting a strain on the system as it tries to compensate.
Your furnace will thank you for leaving it to rest without accumulated dirt from old filters. Don’t put this off till you need to use the furnace again, since you could end up forgetting to do it later!
3. Check the Electrical Connections – Just to be clear, you shouldn’t handle electrical parts of your HVAC unit or attempt to repair them on your own. This is highly dangerous and best left to the experts. However, you can “eyeball” the connections and electrical components to check whether everything looks alright.
If you notice loose wires, disconnections or damage, call in the HVAC professionals with experience in heating repairs.
4. Turn Off the Pilot Light – After you’ve finished with the rest of your HVAC maintenance, turn off the pilot light if your furnace has one. While it isn’t heavy on fuel consumption, leaving the pilot to burn all summer doesn’t make much sense, especially since it will be largely unattended.
Also, save whatever fuel you can – both your wallet and the environment will be better off. Every tiny saving counts!
5. Call in the Experts for Help – If you aren’t sure whether your HVAC is functioning as it should or can’t perform seasonal maintenance on your own, set up a schedule with a professional for regular furnace repair and service. If you notice any signs of trouble, do not delay getting it fixed – the wait could make the damage much worse.
It’s always easier to tackle potential problems before you actually need to use the heating unit. Timely repairs and maintenance can help ensure your furnace is ready for use when the mercury drops, so don’t wait till fall rolls around.