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  • Writer's pictureJustin Leach

Get Your Furnace Ready For Winter!

We have officially turned on the furnace in our household for the first time, and it seems as though a fair number of customers are doing the same.

With the advent of every heating season, there are often four relatively simple things homeowners can do to prepare their heating system for winter! We recommend the following:

Thermostats either take AA or AAA batteries

  • Thermostat: if your thermostat has batteries, we always recommend that you change them out at the start of a new heating or cooling season. Batteries are always one of those pesky issues that can instigate an unnecessary service call for your furnace. Investing in a new pair of batteries, whether they are AAA or AA, are money well spent in preventing any unwanted interruptions in your heating system.

This furnace filter was so plugged the furnace sucked it into the fan!

  • Air filter: always verify that your air filter is good and clean this time of year. even if your air filter has a lifespan greater than one month, I still recommend that folks take a look at it every month to see how things look. Air filters can vary in dirtiness from month to month based on pollen, pet shedding, etc. While the air filter may seem to be a fairly innocuous item on the furnace, it can set off a chain reaction of catastrophic consequences if the air filter is dirty. We recently looked at a furnace and air conditioning system, where a dirty filter basically made it so that they will need to get a new air conditioning system.

The Condensate Trap is usually located in the same section as the furnace fan

  • Condensate trap and pipe: if you have a higher efficiency furnace, the furnace will produce what we call condensate. This is a liquid the forms and is drained off as the furnace is heating. Unfortunately, certain types of bacteria seem to enjoy this condensate, and can plug up the condensate trap and the condensate pipe itself. This process might be a little bit more difficult than the first two suggestions, but it should be fairly easy for anyone who is semi-handy. You can use hot water and an air compressor to clean out the condensate pipe, and if you remove the condensate trap and run it under hot water in the utility sink you will see lots of black yucky stuff come out of it.

You can find the flame sensor in the burn chamber.

  • Clean your flame sensor: This is another item that might require a little skill, but it is entirely doable for your average homeowner. There is a little sensor located on the burn chamber of your furnace called a flame sensor. It spends all its life directly in the flame as the furnace burns. Because of this, it builds up fuel deposits which then hinder it from verifying that there is flame. If you can remove the flame sensor, all you need to do is lightly rub it with a dollar bill to clean it up, and it will likely get you through the heating season without any hassles.

If you can accomplish these four suggestions, you could rest assured that it will cover at least 30% of the failures we commonly seen in heating season. If you need furnace repair in New Richmond WI or the surrounding areas, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you. We also do furnace replacement in the Richmond and the surrounding areas and offer free quotes to all of our perspective customers.

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