Florida is not known for snowy and cold winters. However, the Sunshine State can encounter colder weather during this season. You will want to prepare your furnace for the winter months so that you stay warm and comfortable as the thermometer dips. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the chilly season.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
You should have your heating and cooling system inspected at least twice yearly. Even if you have put off those past appointments, there is still time to set up a visit before winter. A licensed technician will inspect the system. If there are any problems, the tech will identify and repair them before they turn into major issues. Most of the time, an inspection will include:
- Replacing the air filter
- Inspecting and tightening the electrical connections
- Checking for leaks in the heat exchanger
- Testing all safety components
- Checking the fuel line for leaks
- Assessing the performance of the system
When you have scheduled regular maintenance, you can have peace of mind that your furnace will keep you warm throughout the winter season.
Replace Air Filters
While a technician will usually replace the air filters, you still need to check on them every one to three months. A dirty filter can affect the efficiency of your furnace. You will want a clean filter to ensure the proper airflow throughout your home, so always keep a filter on hand. In Florida, it is not uncommon to switch between air conditioning and heat. You want to make sure that the HVAC system has the proper airflow to keep your home in tip-top shape.
Insulate and Seal Parts of Your Home
Florida homes are not known for their heavy insulation. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore drafty windows and doors. During the winter, cold air can seep into your home, causing the furnace to work harder than usual. As a result, you will spend more money to heat your home. By weatherstripping those areas where heat could escape, you can help your furnace stay more energy efficient. In some cases, it can even extend the life of the unit.
Calibrate Your Thermostat
Many repair calls center around faulty thermostats. This device is responsible for helping you maintain a comfortable environment in your home. However, you need to make sure it is properly calibrated. You can easily do this task by yourself. Raise the thermostat and see if the furnace responds. If the system doesn’t turn on, you could have a thermostat problem. It may be time for an upgrade.
With a smart device, you can control your heat remotely and create a customized schedule for your home. Since winter temperatures can fluctuate in the state, this feature can help you save money and energy.
Clean the Vents and Ductwork
Dirty or blocked vents and ducts can cause your furnace to work harder. Besides that, this problem may even leave you in the cold. Sometimes, blocked vents can make the system overheat and shut down. When you clean these components, it helps with the flow of air. You will get warm air in all areas of your home. While you may want to attempt this task by yourself, leave it to the professionals. A trained company has the tools to clean out all the dust, dirt, and debris. With that, you can make sure that the heater is operating at its top performance.
Check the Carbon Monoxide Detector
Whether your home is in Florida or Alaska, it needs to be checked for carbon monoxide leaks. This odorless, colorless gas is a deadly by-product of combustion, and it is usually vented outside the house. It escapes into the living areas if there is a malfunctioning furnace. Safety should always be the top priority when you are preparing for winter. If you are concerned about your furnace, schedule an inspection right away. A technician will determine whether your system is safe to use.
If you have already had a service or maintenance visit, don’t forget about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. Before winter, you will want to change the batteries to ensure the sensors alert you to any signs of this hazardous gas.
Clear Out Any Debris
If your furnace resides in an enclosed space, you may have accumulated a little clutter over the past year. You don’t want that area to turn into a hazard. It is important to keep the space near the furnace clear of dirt or debris. These appliances will heat up, and the last thing you want is a fire on your hands. Take the time before the winter to conduct a little cleaning. With that, you can make sure that nothing will disrupt the operation of your furnace.
Inspect the Gas Line or Fuel Source
You will want to inspect the gas line that leads to your furnace. Look for any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion, especially at the joints and connections. If you see any loose connections, corrosion, or visible damage, make sure to address these issues right away.
You should also check the area around the furnace for any gas odors. If you notice the smell of gas, turn off the supply immediately. After that, contact your gas company or a professional HVAC technician to investigate and resolve the issue.
Make Sure the Pilot Light Is Working
If your furnace is an older model, it might have a pilot light. You will want to check if that light functions correctly since the system needs it to ignite the furnace’s burners. To safely inspect and relight the pilot light, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not confident in doing this yourself or unsure about the process, leave it to a professional.
When inspecting the pilot flame, check its color. If it’s blue, that means it’s working correctly. However, if the pilot flame is yellow or orange, it can indicate an issue with the combustion process. If you notice this, contact a professional to investigate.
Test the Emergency Shut-Off Switch
This switch is located near the furnace and provides a quick way to cut power in case of malfunctions, potential fires, or gas leaks. You need to make sure that the switch works properly, is easily accessible, and remains unobstructed. Regular testing helps maintain its functionality and ensures a quick response in an emergency.
If you need help preparing your furnace for the Florida winters, Premier Comfort Services can assist. We are your trusted partner for all your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing needs in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas. As a veteran-owned company, we bring a strong work ethic, integrity, and a commitment to excellence to every project. We take pride in our punctuality, up-to-date training, and unwavering dedication to quality. When you choose us, you can count on a team of professionals who are passionate about making your home a more comfortable and efficient place to live. Contact Premier Comfort Services to schedule a service call.