How To Get Your Home's Heating System Ready For Winter

Keeping your central heating system in working order is the key to staying warm during the cold winter months. While your home's furnace may be a relatively sturdy device, regular maintenance still needs to be performed in order to maximize your safety and comfort while at home. Below is a list of the things that you will need to do to get your home's heating system ready for the winter.

Step 1: Check For Leaks

If you have a gas furnace, you should be checking for gas leaks on a regular basis. Gas leaks can be a major problem in the home, and your heating system cannot run safely while a gas leak is present. To check for gas leaks, try the following:

  • Check the gas supply lines that lead to the furnace.
    • These metal pipes transport the gas around the furnace, and are attached to several valves, joints, and fittings.
    • Using a sponge, cover these pipes with a combination of soap and water. If any bubbles form after the soap has been applied, then you have located a leak.
  • Buy and install a gas detector.
    • These electronic gas detectors can detect even the most minute trace of gas in the air, and work for natural gas as well as propane-powered homes.
  • Watch for the warning signs.
    • Your health will be affected by a gas leak. You will need to find and plug the leak if you or any of your family members are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
      • Nausea
      • Respiratory issues
      • Headaches
      • Fever
      • Unconsciousness

If you have detected a gas leak, do not attempt to light the pilot light on the furnace and shut off the gas supply to the home. Avoid any chance of creating a spark, and call a professional furnace repair company immediately if you cannot locate or stop the leak at its source.

Step 2: Clean The System

Before turning on the furnace for the first time in a while, always do your best to remove any dust or debris from the vents and ducts that can be found all around the home. This will improve the quality of the air that is entering each room, and will help to keep any allergic reactions to the airborne particles to a minimum.

Make sure to open the maintenance panel of the furnace and blow away any visible dust with an air compressor or a small can of compressed air. The dust in this area can be set ablaze by the pilot light and start a large fire.

While you have the maintenance panel open, replace the air filter if it visible. If your air filter is not present in the maintenance area, you may need to call a heating system repair company to replace the filter for you.

Step 3: Light The Pilot

While it is possible to light the pilot light on your own, you should never attempt to do so for obvious safety reasons. Calling a professional heating company will be the safest way to have the pilot light started, as they will be able to double-check for any gas leaks or dust buildup in the area that could pose a threat.

Of course, not just any lighter can be used to light a pilot light. Professional heating companies outfit their employees with right tools and supplies needed in order to ensure that every job can be done with maximum safety in mind. Using the wrong kind of lighter can backfire, as the fresh pilot flame can travel into a standard lighter, causing the lighter to explode in the hands of the operator.

Safe, Reliable Heat

Once you have performed all the steps needed to prepare your home's heating system for the cold winter ahead, you will have no problems when setting the thermostat to a comfortable level. As previously stated, foregoing these steps could result in sickness, physical harm, and serious property damage. Always make sure to hire a professional heating company after doing what you can to prepare your system on your own.