It’s that time of year again in Colorado. The leaves are changing, the air is getting a little colder and it’s all starting to feel a lot more like winter. This means one thing: it’s time for homeowners to start preparing their home for the cold weather ahead by turning on the furnace. There are many ways you can prepare your furnace so that it will be ready when you need it most this winter, but we’re going to give you some insider tips today on how to get started.

Your Pre-Winter Furnace Maintenance Checklist

Schedule Your Annual Tune-Ups with Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning

We recommend annual furnace maintenance right before the winter season. This is a great way to prepare your furnace for winter. Our technicians will be able to take care of any potential problems that could arise during this busy time of the year. The last thing you want during extreme cold is for your furnace to not be working properly.

During this equipment service, your Lakeside furnace professional will:

  • Clean your system and remove any dust, dirt or debris that has accumulated.
  • Inspect the blower, motor and belt.
  • Check your system’s airflow.
  • Clean or replace your furnace’s filter as needed.
  • Adjust gas valves slightly as needed.
  • Verify that the thermostat is properly programmed for wintertime operation.

HVAC system maintenance helps maintain efficiency and could help you avoid problems that could leave you without heat during winter months. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you won’t need furnace repair on the first cold day.

Ready to schedule an appointment? We offer furnace maintenance in Denver, Arvada and surrounding areas.

Regularly Replacing Air Filters

Another great way to help your heating system work efficiently all winter long is to change or clean your current filter. Dirty air filters can cause a lot of problems for homeowners. Some of these problems include:

  • A decrease in airflow.
  • Lowering the overall energy efficiency of your home and increasing your gas bill.
  • Potentially damaging your furnace’s blower and combustion chamber components.

Depending on the type of air filter you use, you’ll want to change it every three to six months. You may want to change it more regularly if you have pets or someone in your home has allergies or asthma. In addition to helping your heating system run efficiently, a fresh filter can also improve your home’s indoor air quality.

We recommend using pleated furnace filters. At altitudes of 4,500 feet and higher, HEPA and electrostatic furnace filters may be too restrictive. Having a filter that’s too restrictive can consume extra energy. It can also cause breakdowns, and you might have to do furnace installation much sooner, since your heating system has to work much harder.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat, like the Nest Learning Thermostat or ecobee, is another way to make your furnace more energy efficient during winter. These thermostats are great because they learn how you use heat in your home and can create an efficient program to accommodate for this.

These innovations can help you maintain a warm temperature while you save money on heating bills. You won’t be worrying about whether you adjusted the thermostat when you left or if it’s on the right program. Your smart thermostat will do all this for you. And you’ll have the ability to remotely control your heating with your phone.

Upgrading your thermostat is more affordable than you may think it is! Xcel Energy offers a $50 instant rebate on smart thermostats from ecobee, Emerson and Honeywell.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The most important thing you can do as a homeowner is make sure your family and home are safe during winter.

Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest dangers to homeowners because it’s an odorless, colorless gas that could be silently leaking into your house if your gas furnace malfunctions.

This most often happens when a furnace’s heat exchanger cracks. This part is responsible for exhausting combustion gases outside your home. If it breaks, carbon monoxide can leak back into your home. For your safety and peace of mind, we check this and other critical components during your annual heating tune-up.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If carbon monoxide is present in your home, it can lead to serious health problems. The most common symptoms of low levels of carbon monoxide are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting

Making sure you have all the necessary detectors installed with working batteries will help keep your family safe. We recommend installing a detector on each floor and near bedrooms.

Have Your Ductwork Checked

Leaky ductwork can cause your home to lose too much warm air during the heating process. You’ll be more uncomfortable, and your gas bills will likely be more expensive if your ducts are leaking.

Signs that you might be dealing with leaky ductwork include:

  • Unusually high energy bills.
  • Cold spots in your home that persist despite the thermostat being set to a warmer temperature.

If you think your ductwork is leaking, contact a trusted HVAC contractor for an inspection.

Make Sure Your Vents are Clean and Open

If your vents are clogged with dust and debris, hot air won’t be able to circulate around your home. You’ll have cold spots in some rooms and will likely notice a decrease of efficiency when it comes to heating costs. If you’re unsure if your vent covers need cleaning, take them off and give them a once-over. If they’re looking dirty, you can clean them off with a vacuum attachment.

You’ll also want to make sure your vents are open. It isn’t more efficient to just heat certain rooms. And if too many of them are closed, this can cause problems with your system’s airflow.

Get Your Furnace Prepared for Winter with Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning

Properly preparing your furnace for winter can be the difference between a comfortable, energy-efficient home and one that is expensive to heat. Give Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning a call today at 303-412-8015 if you need help with any of these tasks or just want some peace of mind knowing that you are ready for cold weather ahead. We’ll gladly come take care of everything so all you have to do is enjoy the comfort!