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Fall feels like it’s only just arrived in the Midwest, but winter is already nipping at its heels, with the leaves falling and cold nights turning into even colder mornings. Which means now is the time for homeowners in McHenry, IL to run through your final furnace preparations to make sure your home’s heating is ready before the snow starts to fall.

Midwestern winters are long and cold, so take the time now to run through these furnace maintenance checklist steps to get ahead of the weather and keep your home cozy. Because when McHenry has a couple of inches of snow show up overnight, the last thing any homeowner will want to wake up to is a cold bedroom and even colder home.

Around the House

Set and Check the Thermostat

Switch the thermostat from cooling to heating as the outdoor temperatures dip into colder territories, and reset the thermostat’s temperature as necessary — sometimes daily.

This is also the ideal time to upgrade or replace the home’s thermostat with a programmable model. This way, not only can the temperature be automatically regulated throughout the house — saving money in heating and cooling costs — but it can also be reset on the fly from a smartphone, or automatically as it learns your home’s habits.

Check the Edges of Your Windows and Doors

Double check the seals around the windows and doors throughout the house, cold wintery drafts and chill winds will sneak through any openings. Replace weather stripping as needed, as even the smallest cracks or openings provide a path for cold air to come inside — as well providing a way for warm air to escape. These small leaks add up to higher heating bills, so better to seal up those spots now.

Check and Clear the Vents Around the House

Clean vents keep a furnace running smoothly. Look at all of the vents around your home, and make sure that they are dust-free, opened or closed as necessary from room to room, as well as cleared of any potential blockages or barriers. If the vents get clogged or blocked, this can make your HVAC system run harder than necessary while it circulates air through your home, leading to more wear and tear on the system.

Around the Furnace

Clean or Replace the Furnace Filters

The general rule of thumb with replaceable furnace filters is to check and change them every 90 days. For permanent filters, they should be checked and cleaned on the same schedule. This somewhat depends on how frequently your HVAC system is running, and how vigorously, because more frequent use means more frequent checking, replacing, and/or cleaning. This keeps dust and debris out of your furnace and airways, and helps everyone in the home breathe more easily.

Check the Pilot Light

If you have a gas furnace, you’ll want to make sure it has what it needs to heat your home — namely, a pilot light to turn that fuel into warm air. The pilot light should be visible within the furnace, just behind the front cover panel. It should be easy to locate, as it should be a lit flame within the furnace. A healthy furnace pilot light should burn a specific way, as well – a blue flame with a yellow tip, not so strong that it’s noisy or jumping, and not so weak that it’s fully yellow or wavering. If you need assistance in adjusting or relighting your furnace’s pilot light, reach out to a certified HVAC technician in McHenry — such as those at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling.

Schedule a Furnace Inspection

Now is a great time to schedule an annual furnace inspection if one hasn’t been done this season. Being proactive while the weather is warm means catching any minor repairs or replacements long before your furnace runs into more trouble. 

Inspections should be done annually, and are best done in the months leading up to heating season — the late fall and winter. A professional technician will be able to see that the parts within your furnace are working properly, are lubricated as needed, and that the switches, wires, and connectors are all functioning properly, which are all necessary pieces to help your furnace turn your home into a heated oasis within the cold Midwestern winter landscape.

There’s nothing like looking out a light snowfall from the comfort of well heated, cozy living room. And for homeowners around McHenry, that scene is easy to achieve! If you’re looking to schedule your annual furnace inspection, or have any questions about how your furnace is running leading up to the winter months, reach out to the technicians at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling today. With over 30 years of heating and cooling experience in and around the McHenry, IL area, the licensed technicians at Duane Blanton have the heating solutions to keep your space warm throughout winter. Reach out today, at (847) 855-0075, or schedule online through their online scheduling portal.  

Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling is proud to be a Bryant Authorized Dealer, offering top-quality heating and cooling options to fit the specific needs of Duane Blanton customers. The quality, comfort, and efficiency of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems’ products naturally aligns with Duane Blanton’s drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Ask a Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling expert today about the advantages of upgrading to a new Bryant Heating & Cooling system for your home!