As much as we may not want to admit it, the falling leaves and autumn breezes mean one thing: winter is coming. While turning on the heat may still be far from our thoughts, knowing how to prepare your furnace for winter is an important part of a furnace maintenance plan.

Ready When You Need It:
Steps to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter

While knowing how to prepare your furnace for winter is important to ensure that it works on that first cold night, there are other reasons some prep is warranted. Making sure your furnace is still energy efficient and operating safely is just as important as ensuring that it works properly. We’ve put together some helpful furnace prep tips so you know what to do before turning on your furnace.

Schedule Furnace Maintenance

The first step in how to prepare your furnace for winter is scheduling a furnace maintenance appointment with a professional. It’s a good idea to do this now since professional services will likely be inundated with calls once the cold weather arrives.

During this appointment, a technician will clean your furnace, perform routine checks and address small repairs before they become bigger problems. This expert knowledge is essential in saving you headaches and cold nights later.

prepare your furnace for winter

Change Your Furnace Filter

While changing the furnace’s air filter is important in knowing how to prep your furnace for cold weather, ideally this should be done every few months. A full filter could allow particles to enter your furnace system, necessitating costly repairs.

Typically these filters are located in the furnace’s HVAC system or behind a vent in your ceiling or wall. Replacement filters are available online and at most major hardware stores. We recommend you check the size that is the right fit for your system before purchasing.

how to prep your furnace for cold weather

Photo Credit: Filtrete

Clear Area Around Furnace

In most family homes the furnace is in the basement, where we tend to store our belongings. Despite our ongoing need for storage, it’s recommended to keep a 3-5ft area around your furnace clear of any items. Since a furnace is burning gas at any given time, this is an important safety consideration.

In addition, the furnace will operate optimally if the air around it is free to circulate.

Test Your Thermostat

A final tip to prepare your furnace for winter is to test your thermostat. The thermostat is our main way of communicating with the furnace.

To see if it’s working properly, set the temperature to a few degrees warmer than your room. Then switch the thermostat to the heat setting to see if it responds appropriately. It should start with no problem but, if not, you can check the wire settings to the furnace to make sure they’re still secure. You can also check your furnace’s pump and fan.

If you don’t feel comfortable making these checks, it may be a good idea to call a professional to assess for a furnace repair.

We hope these tips illustrated how to prepare your furnace for winter so you don’t have to worry about a malfunction on a winter night. Whether you’re scheduling maintenance during the regular workday or need us for an after-hours repair, Dependable Heating & Air is always ready to help. Give us a call today!