Winterize Your Furnace Before Cold Weather Hits

January 8, 2015

Girl inside dressed in hat and scarf looking out window

Taking the time to winterize your furnace against the icy Des Moines winter can protect your home heating equipment. Furthermore, you'll also be able keep your heating bills low and ensure you stay comfortable even on the coldest nights.

Clean It Up

If your furnace air filter is dirty, put in a clean one. Dirty air filters make it harder for your system to take in the required amount of air. This reduces the heating system's efficiency, while wearing out the components. Standard 1-inch filters should be changed monthly.

Clean the Burner Compartment 

For gas or propane furnaces, use your vacuum's hose attachment to clean up dust and debris inside the burner compartment. However, don't clean an oil furnace this way because an ordinary vacuum can't remove oil furnace soot. If you know how to access the blower fan, use a stiff brush to remove built-up dust from the blades.

Clear Registers 

Remove anything around your furnace that could pose a fire hazard. Walk through your house and clear any supply registers and return air vents blocked by furniture, drapes or other objects. If necessary, remove the covers and vacuum inside registers and vents. Blockages here interfere with efficient airflow through your system.

Inspect the Components 

Check your blower motor for a loose, worn or damaged belt. This common problem can reduce your furnace's efficiency. Be sure to replace the blower doors (lower doors) on the compartment carefully to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) from entering your home.

Check the Exhaust Flue 

Additionally, look over your exhaust flue for holes or loose joints. You should also check for blockages in the flue on the exterior of your home.

Bleed the Radiators 

If your system uses hot-water radiators, bleed the radiators by opening the valves, waiting until water appears, then closing the valves again. By calling a heating and cooling professional to perform an annual furnace inspection, you can be sure that all of these components will be in good condition.

For more tips on how to winterize your furnace, or to schedule an annual furnace inspection, fill out our service form and someone will be in contact with you shortly.