Six Easy Ways to Get Your Furnace Ready for Summer

Six Easy Ways to Get Your Furnace Ready for Summer Near Havertown, PA

Wait, get your furnace ready for summer? Don’t you mean your air conditioner?

Well, an AC tune-up is a great idea in the spring. But, in this article, we’re talking about your heating system. A little bit of preparation as the weather gets warm means it’ll be ready for next winter.

So, we’re looking at the best ways to get your furnace ready for hibernation. A few of these don’t cost a dime. Others are inexpensive and also overlap with some basic AC maintenance.

Read: 4 Benefits of Regular Maintenance
In all, they’ll help save you money and make you more comfortable in the winter. Some will even keep you and your family safe year-round.

Six easy steps for getting your furnace ready for summer are:

  1. Clean Around the Furnace
  2. Shut the Pilot Light and Cut the Gas
  3. Adjust Your Thermostat
  4. Change the Filter
  5. Check — or Change — Your Detectors
  6. Schedule an Inspection

You can do most of these tasks yourself. But, if you’re unsure about how to do something on this list, don’t take any risks with your HVAC equipment.

Instead, call us here at John Cipollone in Havertown, PA. We’re happy to answer any questions and help keep your system running safely and efficiently.

Now, let’s see what sort of spring cleaning your furnace needs.

Clean Around the Furnace

Clean Around The FurnaceOnce you’re not using the furnace any more, take a few minutes and clear away any dust, dirt, debris, or even soot that’s built up around it.

Since these units are often tucked away in a cellar or unfinished part of the basement, you probably don’t keep it nearly as tidy as other parts of your home.

And, that’s fine — you’re not entertaining in there. But, you should head in there with a broom and dustpan at least a few times a year. Keeping your furnace and the space around it neat helps your heater perform better.

Any dirt and dust near the unit can end up inside it. Then, it’s gumming up the works or possibly working its way through your home as it circulated with the air.

In fact, check out your pilot light. What color is it?

You want it to be blue. But, if it’s yellow, that means there’s a problem — and dirt or soot could be the cause.

And, while we’re talking about the pilot light …

Shut the Pilot Light and Cut the Gas

You can save around $50 a year by shutting your furnace down completely in the spring. That means shutting off the pilot light and cutting off the gas, not just turning off the thermostat or setting it to cool.

Ok, before we go any further, let’s stress: this does NOT mean just blowing out the pilot light. There’s more to it, and we’ll get into that in a moment.

For now: Even when you’re not using your furnace, it’s still using resources. Kind of like how they tell you to unplug computers and all when you’re not using them because they draw phantom power.

With your heater: When the pilot light’s on, there’s at least a small amount of gas flowing to it.

So, you can cut down on your bills by shutting it down completely. This way, it’s not drawing resources without offering you any benefits.

How to Shut off the Pilot Light

First of all, if you don’t feel comfortable messing with the gas or pilot light on your furnace, don’t do it! Instead, call a professional. You’re always better off spending a few dollars than potentially harming yourself or damaging your appliances or home.

That said, to shut off the pilot, first turn off the heat on the thermostat.

Then, you want to turn off the gas. There’s a valve from the gas line to your heater. Turn that valve to cut off the fuel. Once you do that, the pilot light will go out.

Remember, you have to turn the valve again to use the heater and then reignite the pilot light. If you’re not comfortable doing that, call a professional.
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Adjust Your Thermostat

Here’s an easy step people sometimes forget: adjust your thermostat for the air conditioning.

That means switching from “Heat” to “Cool.” And, making sure it’s off until you’re ready for air conditioning.

You’d be surprised how often people think the AC is on the fritz when really they’re still set to “Heat.”

One more note: “Fan Only” means your system circulates the air in your home without adding any heating or cooling. This setting is useful when you have the windows closed for a long time without using your system.

Change the Filter

This one’s easy: Change the air filter before shutting down the furnace for a few months. If you have central air, you should definitely do this. In that case, the filter affects both heating and cooling, because both systems use the same ductwork.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Filter?

Ideally, you should change the filter every month, especially if you have pets or track a lot of dirt inside.

However, ductless cooling and window air conditioners don’t use the ducts. So, you may not consider doing this as the weather gets warmer.

But, it’s still a good idea to have a clean filter in there. You’ll still trap some particles as they pass through the system.

And, if you want to run the “fan only” setting on your thermostat for extra circulation, you’ll be prepared.

Check — or Change — Your Detectors

Spring is an excellent time to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. If yours uses batteries, then you should change them when you change the clocks: Twice a year.

And, in general, you want to make sure they’re working.

Check Or Change Your Detectors

In particular, your carbon monoxide detector is the proverbial canary in the coal mine when it comes to furnace problems.

If your home has a CO leak, it’s most likely coming from your furnace. Since it’s a colorless, odorless gas, you won’t know the gas is building up unless you have a working detector.

Of course, there’s far less of a chance you’ll have this problem with the furnace off. That’s especially so if you shut down the unit entirely. But, there’s always even a small risk. And, it’s worth taking the few minutes to make sure all your safety equipment is in good working order.
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Schedule an Inspection

Your last step is getting your furnace inspected before you shut it down for the season. An inspection is especially important if you aren’t comfortable shutting off the gas and pilot light. Or, if you noticed something out of the ordinary.

We mentioned AC tune-ups earlier, and now’s a good time to mention those again.

R22 Freon Phase Out: Does My Havertown, PA Home Need a New AC?Before you turn on your central air, make sure you have a professional look over the system. This way, it’s optimized for all the hard work ahead of it. And, you’ll head off any minor problems before they become much worse.

At the same time, your tech can check your furnace, too.

The inspection is a great time to spot any potential problems. If you need a major repair — or, worse, if it seems to be on its last legs — you now have a few months to decide if you want to pay to have it fixed or pick out a replacement.

Call or email us here at John Cipollone in Havertown, PA, if your heating and cooling system is ready for a springtime inspection. Or, if you have any questions about your furnace before you officially shut it down for the summer. We can start with a teleconference before scheduling an in-person appointment.
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Schedule An AppointmentFurnace Replacement In Ardmore, PA

If your heating system gave you trouble last winter, you can save yourself time and money by considering a new one in the off-season. John Cipollone, Inc has an excellent reputation for furnace replacement in Ardmore, PA and across the Main Line. Since 1953, we’ve helped homeowners avoid headaches by helping them choose new equipment before it’s an emergency. And, we install it right the first time.
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