First thing’s first: we aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to cold weather. Last week saw some warmer days here in Northern Virginia, but March is notorious for the way it can take sudden turns and hurl chilly weather our way. You may still need to have your home’s furnace running a few more days before it’s time to settle in for a pleasant spring and hot summer.
However, this is the time of year to start making plans for the change from heating season to cooling season. One of the most important steps to take is to arrange for a spring maintenance visit from our HVAC experts to see that your AC is ready to go to work when necessary. Signing up for a maintenance contract with us means benefits for both your cooling and heating.
We also recommend taking steps to shut down your furnace. This means doing more than simply stopping use of the furnace! You’ll save energy and help keep the furnace in the best possible shape if you follow these steps:
Turn off the pilot light
If you have a newer furnace, it almost certainly runs from an electronic ignition system, so there’s no need to worry about the pilot light. But for an older furnace, turning off the pilot light helps to conserve power and prevents possible safety issues over the middle of the year. Near the pilot light you’ll find a small valve. Turn it 90° to shut off the gas flow to the pilot light assembly. The pilot light should go out.
Put in a clean furnace filter
The air filter in a furnace protects the interior from debris that comes through the return vent. The filter will start to clog up after 1 to 3 months and need to be changed for a new filter. Because the air conditioner uses the same filter, it’s important to see that a clean one is in place for the transfer between the seasons.
Check on all carbon monoxide detectors
If you use natural gas in your home, CO detectors are a necessity. The detectors will alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide—an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas—in time for your family to evacuate. We recommend that you test the CO detectors when you start your furnace for the winter or shut it down for the spring. Click on each detector’s “test” button to see if it’s working. Change the batteries if necessary.
Call professionals for any repair issues with the furnace
Do not shut down your furnace if you suspect anything is wrong with it. It’s not a good idea to delay with furnace repairs just because warm weather is around the corner. Any furnace malfunction can turn into a safety hazard if left unattended. There’s also the risk of the furnace failing to come on the next time you need it. You don’t want to start the next winter with a furnace that won’t work, forcing you to make an urgent call to get it fixed. Take care of any furnace problems now, when it’s less urgent.
Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration—Family Owned and Operated Since 1998.