As the days get warmer, turning off the heat feels like a celebration— spring is officially here! While you might be eager to get into the spring cleaning routine and forget all about your furnace until next fall, you’re not quite out of the woods yet.
Taking the time to address your furnace and conducting some routine maintenance will help you extend its lifespan and ensure it works well for the next cold season. Here are some helpful tips for preparing your furnace for spring.
The first thing you should do when powering down your furnace for the spring is to clean your filters. The filters are responsible for purifying the air and limiting debris while distributing heat through your home.
It’s natural for this filter to accumulate dirt and debris throughout the season. If left unaddressed, it will be more challenging for air to flow through your furnace. As a result, your furnace will either lack the same quality output or work harder to achieve poor results. In either case, you’re sacrificing comfort or efficiency.
The less dust and debris there is around your furnace, the less likely it is to end up in the inner workings, the vents, or your lungs.
Take some time to clean the area around your furnace, ensuring nothing is blocking the intakes or vents. This is also a good opportunity to look for signs of degradation, such as rust or leaks.
The spring is a great time to schedule an annual furnace tune-up. Preventative furnace maintenance is the best cure for costly repairs (source: https://tsshomecomfort.com/heating/furnace-repair). While this task typically gets grouped with late summer and early fall maintenance chores, there are benefits to scheduling it for the spring.
During the spring, furnace specialists are less booked up. There’s also the benefit of making repairs and adjustments before the furnace sits unused or the pumps are activated for air conditioning (depending on your set-up). Cleaning or changing the filters is also a part of tune-up visits, which takes a spring cleaning task off your list.
This visit also prevents downtime when it matters the most, as some repairs require specialty parts and scheduling to complete. As supply chain issues have impacted every industry in recent years, waiting until you need the furnace to have work done is a big mistake.
Poor air quality can directly impact your overall health and wellness. That’s why it’s important to clean out your vents as a part of your spring furnace maintenance plan.
Take off the vent covers and wash them with warm water and dish soap, allowing them to dry naturally. Use your vacuum to clean out any fallen debris from the vents (kids’ toys often end up down there) and wipe around the edges with a damp cloth to remove excess dust and grime.
If you’ve noticed issues with your air quality, it’s worth having a professional service blow out your vents. A vacuum only reaches so far, and if you’ve neglected to service your furnace or change the filters, there’s likely a lot of dust in there.
Turning off the furnace entirely isn’t feasible for most homeowners. HVAC systems are highly integrated, and your furnace might be powering your air conditioner or water heater. If you want to turn off your furnace, talk to a professional for advice first.
Either way, you’ll need to program your thermostat to ensure the heat is off and your temperature settings are adjusted accordingly. You can also take this opportunity to change the direction of your ceiling fans to optimize your airflow for the warmer months.
Getting these simple furnace maintenance tasks out of the way during the spring will help optimize your air conditioning, save you time and money during the fall, and make your home more comfortable.