The holidays are quickly approaching, even though it feels like we’re on November, version 2.0. Even without a blizzard outside, the lower temps can make you feel like crawling under a blanket until the robins return.
Making sure all of your heating equipment is safe to operate and ready when you need it is an important part of every Michigan winter. You don’t want to learn your furnace needs repairs when half the repairmen are in Florida for the new year.
Keep Your Furnace is Top Shape
Most of the time, your furnace is something you don’t give much thought to. You may have never considered what kind of maintenance it even needs. Getting it ready for winter isn’t difficult, and just takes a little time. Follow these steps below to stay warm and toasty through all the chilly winter nights!
The Little Things Go A Long Way
When was the last time your furnace filter was changed? If you can’t remember – you need a new one! It may be a good time to consider upgrading to an electrostatic filter, which can be reused over and over. This will help keep the air in your home cleaner, allow your furnace to run more efficiently, AND reduce the amount of trash you throw out.
While you’re at it, don’t forget your condensation line. If you just said, “My what?” take a look around the furnace until you find a tube or plastic pipe that goes from it to a pump or drain. That neato little tube tends to accumulate algae and other build-up, until it plugs entirely. Running vinegar through it once a month will help keep it flowing freely and your furnace performing at its best by moving any condensation away from the system. This is especially important if you’re using a heat pump, since it’s essentially an air conditioner with a valve that can go either forward or reverse, depending on your desired results.
Last, check all accessible ducts for air loss. Sure, you like your crawlspace and attic, but maybe not enough to share your heat with them. The tighter your ducts, the more air pressure in your system and the less heat loss you’ll experience. This is by far the most difficult part of basic furnace prep for winter.
Let a Pro Have a Go
If you have not had your furnace professionally serviced so far – first off, lucky you! It is much easier to call them and set up an appointment to check your furnace before it has stopped working and its 20 degrees outside. A professional can also make sure your heating system is safe to use. A carbon monoxide leak can be fatal.
While we’re on the subject – have you recently checked your smoke and CO detectors?
Have a Backup Plan
Even if you follow these steps, life has a way of still surprising us! Consider alternative heating sources in case your furnace goes out. Infrared and ceramic electric heaters with safety shutoffs in case they tip can do a good job. Never use combustion heaters indoors without proper ventilation. Cuddles and blankets are also a good short term plan!
Who Do You Know?
Finding reliable tradespeople that you can trust can be hard, especially if you are new to the area! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any question or requests for trade recommendations. Or visit our trade search page.