Here in West Texas, we’ve had what (so far) seems like an unseasonably warm winter. We fired up the heater for a day or two around Halloween, but if you’re like us, haven’t used it much since. If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you know that things can change fast. Sunny and 75 today could turn into icy and 30 in less than 36 hours. When it is time to start using the heater regularly, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.

Preparations To Make

Quick inspection: Make sure it’s turned off, and take a quick look at your system. Do you see residue or black soot? Is all the ductwork properly attached? Make sure the area around the furnace is clear of debris. Anything flammable nearby could be a hazard.

Cleaning: Vacuum or brush out any areas built up with soot or other debris. You can remove residue from the portlight and burners. 

Checking the filter: If your furnace uses a disposable filter, it needs to be replaced. If it uses a reusable filter, use a vacuum to remove the dust. You can wash it out using soap and water. Make sure to let it dry before putting it back.

Blower belt: If your filter has a blower belt, you should check for cracks or general wear. You should be able to depress it slightly with your fingers. You can replace it if necessary.

Drain line: A clogged drain line can cause major problems and expensive damage to your home. It’s critical that the drain line is flushed.

Furnace exhaust/chimney vent: Vents to the outside (whether from the side or through the chimney) should be free of debris or other obstruction. This may require you to check the ducts to make sure they are clear.

Safety detectors: Smoke detectors and fire detectors should be checked, and batteries replaced if necessary.

Last, but not least…CALL A PRO! You can complete some of the tasks above on your own, but for most of them, you’ll probably want a pro. The Bosworth Company can provide full service to make sure you’re ready for the winter with our Fall Clean & Check! Set up an appointment online today or call 432-570-5233. The Bosworth Company. Worth the Call. Always.