Alabama winters may not be as harsh as our northern neighbors, but reliable heating is essential when those unpredictable cold fronts hit. After a long summer of relying heavily on AC systems to keep us cool, furnaces will require maintenance before kickstarting our cozy indoor winter.
Skelton’s Heating and Cooling cares about the heating needs of our community. That’s why we’re here to share five important tips with homeowners to ensure your family’s safety when working with your heater in preparation for the cold season. Read on to learn more about furnace care and signs that may indicate your unit needs professional help!
Furnace Safety & Heating Maintenance Tips
Clean Your Heater Before Use
While lying idle all year long, your heating system gathers dust and debris that can be hazardous if not removed before running it. Avoid dust buildup by vacuuming the inside compartment at least once a month. Use a damp cloth rag to wipe away any dirt in hard-to-reach areas and outside the unit. Consult your user manual or a professional for more cleaning instructions for your specific system.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
Any obstructions to airflow, such as dirt and debris accumulation, force your unit to work harder. Overworking your system will result in higher energy costs and reduce its lifespan over time, increasing the risk of breakdowns and malfunctions. Dirty air filters are also dangerous as they pollute your family’s air and can cause a fire. Protect your family’s health by changing your air filter every one to three months, depending on the size of your home and if you have pets.
Schedule Routine Inspections
Annual tune-ups help keep your heater running at peak performance. A professional technician will provide a thorough cleaning and examination to identify any operational issues that may require repair. It’s best to schedule your yearly inspection just before winter to ensure your system is safe to use all season long.
Remove Flammable Items From Surrounding Area
Any item left near your unit while it’s running has the potential to catch fire, so it’s crucial that the surrounding area is clear of possible hazards. If you use your furnace room for laundry or storage throughout the year, make sure to organize the space before powering on your unit. Take extra precautions with flammable materials such as:
- Chemical solutions
- Laundry products
- Paint or paint thinners
- Clothes or rags
- Wood scraps
Test Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
Every home should be equipped with fire safety devices on every floor, inside each bedroom and in your furnace room to provide immediate warnings. It’s important to check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms regularly to make sure they’re working correctly. Perform monthly tests, and remember to change the batteries at least every six months.
When To Call The Pros For Furnace Replacement & Repairs
Following proper heating system safety and maintenance guidelines can help keep your unit in tip-top shape. However, some problems may arise that require an expert’s help. Pay close attention to these potential warning signs:
- Orange or yellow flames instead of blue
- Abnormal smells such as burning, gas, etc.
- Uneven heating throughout your home or no heat at all
- Increasing energy costs
- Strange noises such as banging, rattling, etc.
- Difficulty starting your unit
The Premier Choice For Birmingham Heating Services
Skelton’s Heating and Cooling has proudly served the Birmingham community and surrounding areas since 2001! We are committed to providing homeowners with the best care available to ensure your family enjoys a warm and safe winter season.
We offer furnace maintenance, repair and installations, so whatever your heating needs are, our experts guarantee efficient and reliable service. Entrust your heating unit with a team that prioritizes your comfort and safety. Schedule your service today!