Fire up the furnace! Getting your home ready for winter

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Prep your house HVAC system for winter

Although it’s technically still considered to be autumn, we all know there are only two seasons here in Brantford which means winter is just around the corner. With some snow storms already said to be coming our way you’re going to want to make sure your HVAC system is ready for the cold now before it becomes far too difficult to address any problems. Luckily the HVAC experts here at Crystal Heating & Cooling have put together the below guide for you to follow to help prepare your home for winter.

1. Turn on the thermostat

If you haven’t already now is the time to switch your thermostat from cooling to heating and set the temperature a couple of degrees higher than the current room temperature. If you don’t hear the heat kick on within a minute, pull off the cover and make sure the wire connections are secure, if you feel comfortable doing so. If the connections are snug, make sure the power source to the HVAC system is turned on. If it’s still not working, you could check the furnace fan, blower or heat pump, but it may make more sense to call in a Crystal professional.

2. Change your air filters

You probably have air filters behind a vent grill in the wall or ceiling, or a single filter in the HVAC system itself. Change these filters every few months. Or, if you have a permanent electrostatic filter, you can wash and reuse it. Cleaning or replacing your filters regularly keeps particles out of your HVAC system and can prolong its life. While you’re at it, change your humidifier filter and set the humidistat, if your HVAC includes a humidifier.

3. Cover the AC condenser

Unless your HVAC is a heat pump (in which case, don’t cover it at all because it runs all year), cover the condenser to protect it from falling icicles. A large trash can lid secured with bungee cords works quite well for this function. Or you can use a board to cover the fan, but don’t wrap it in a moisture-trapping plastic tarp.

4. Clean the heat exchanger

Your heat exchanger should be brushed and vacuumed out annually by a trained professional while the unit is disabled. While it’s being cleaned a Crystal technician can look for cracks, which could lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak into your home.

5. Lubricate and clean the blower motor

First be sure to check the owner’s manual to see if your motor is the kind that needs lubricating. If it does, turn off the power, open the cover and clean the caps covering the bearings. Then remove the caps and lubricate the bearings.

6. Test the igniter switch

If you have an old system you might have to relight the pilot. Newer systems have electronic igniters. If the igniter isn’t working, push the reset button. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your breaker. Still not working? Time to call Crystal Heating and Cooling.

7. Inspect the chimney

Chimneys can house carbon buildup or even small animals. A professional should always inspect your chimney periodically and routinely test or replace your carbon monoxide detectors as well.

8. Test your system

While the weather is still comfortable, now is a good time run your HVAC unit like it was winter and keep an ear out for about an hour or so. Now is the time to catch any odd noises. Also be sure to check if it’s draining water anywhere.

And there you have it! Eight simple steps to follow that will lead you to a much more comfortable winter this year. As always, if you have any questions when it comes to prepping your HVAC system for the season, call our expert technicians today at 519-756-6888 and we would be happy to help.