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What to Check Before Using Your Heater This Fall

A chill is in the air, but it’s not quite cold enough to turn the heater on—perfect! That means you still have time to perform a pre-season furnace check, which can help you avoid costly furnace repair in Albany, OR later on in the fall or winter. But where should you start? What can you do yourself, and which tasks are best left to the pros? Here are some things every homeowner should do before powering on their heater for the first time this fall.

Change the filter

Most homes have a split air conditioning unit and heating unit that make up the HVAC system. In this case, there’s one filter for both the AC and the heater. This air filter should be changed every one to three months, depending on the type of filter, the manufacturer’s recommendation and how often you use your central heat and air. The indoor environment also plays a role—households with pets, children, smokers or people with allergies or asthma should replace the filter more often.

Test the thermostat

Something everyone with a furnace should do before it gets cold is test the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is functioning properly, and replace the batteries if needed. A good rule of thumb is to change out the batteries in your thermostat when you’re switching from regular cooling to regular heating. That’s roughly every six months. Next, turn up the thermostat to a warm setting and listen to the furnace as it operates. You should hear it turn on and feel a continuous stream of hot air coming through the air vents.

Clean ductwork

Fall is a good time to have your ductwork cleaned. A professional will remove dust, dirt, grime and pollen buildup from spring and summer, which helps to improve your indoor air quality. Homeowners can clean their ducts themselves, but you should consider hiring a ductwork cleaning company every so often for a more thorough job.

Inspect exterior vents

Whether you have a high-efficiency furnace or not, you can’t lose anything by checking the condition of the intake and exhaust vents. Also, make sure vents aren’t blocked up with leaves, nests or critters. You should be able to see PVC venting material on an exterior wall of your house. If not, contact the installer and ask where it is.

Schedule professional service

HVAC companies tend to get a lot of calls from homeowners and business owners during the cooler months—when folks power on their heaters for the first time since last season—requesting an appointment for a technician to figure out furnace problems. Although you can get furnace checks during any time of the year, the best time to get a furnace inspection is before fall and winter. Schedule professional service early to beat the rush!

Don’t get left out in the cold this fall—the trusted team at Larsell Mechanical Service is fully prepared to help you out with furnace repair in Albany, OR. Our service technicians are skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in HVAC maintenance tasks. Need to troubleshoot a furnace problem or have a safety inspection performed? Call us today!