Turn up the heat: 5 things to check before turning on your furnace
With temperatures taking a dip, it's time to face the big monster in the basement. Furnaces need a little attention before it's all systems go, says Larry Stefanec, owner of Parsons Plumbing and Heating.
Here are Stefanec's five things homeowners should do before the turning the heat on:
1. Test your thermostat and replace batteries
Before it gets really cold, turn up your thermostat and listen to make sure your boiler or furnace turns on. If you have a more modern thermostat, there's a good chance it's battery powered. He said thermostat batteries should be replaced about as often as your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, every six months.
2. Clean your ducts
Keeping ducts free of dust and grime can go far in helping improve air quality. There are companies that do duct cleaning but Stefanec says homeowners can also do it themselves. "you're maintaining that efficiency," he said.
3. Change the filter
Stefanec suggested homeowners change their filters on a regular basis. If you have pets or if your house tends to be overly dusty, change the filter every three months. This along with clean ducts, clean filters can do a lot for air quality.
4. Inspect vents outside
Especially if you have a high efficiency furnace, it's worth checking to make sure the intake and exhaust vents are clear from leaves, rodents and bird nests. Homeowners should be able to easily spot white PVC venting material on an exterior wall of their house.