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Quick fall maintenance tips your home

Andrew Norton

If you haven't inspected your home for the fall and winter heating season yet, now is the time. You don't want to be out of luck when you go to fire up your furnace on that first cold day. Also, if there are problems and you need to have a furnace technician come out you will have a much longer wait if you hold off until the thick of the heating season. So, here are a few tips to help you stay warm and save a few bucks this heating season.

  • Check caulking/glaze on windows & doors.
  • Clean dust/dirt off of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Change furnace filter.
  • Turn your heating system on now to ensure that it is in proper working order.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clear of boxes and other junk that you might have piled up during the non-heating months.
  • Always keep the burner area of your furnace clear of obstructions.
  • Inspect your vent pipe (you know, the one that goes to the chimney) for any possible leaks or corrosion. If major corrosion is present, you need to replace the entire vent pipe.
  • Fire up your furnace and inspect the flame. It should be a nice blue hue. Anything else such as a yellowish flame means you should call a technician and have them clean and test the entire furnace.
  • The first time you fire up your furnace this year you will most likely notice a funny dust-like smell. That is just the dust burning off from the combustion chamber. You also should make sure that your furnace filter is clean since that could cause the same dusty smell.
  • Any odor that does not go away after a short time or the smell of gas means you have a serious problem and should shut the furnace and fuel line down. Then, call a technician and have the furnace professionally inspected.
  • Also, when first running your furnace it might be a good idea to have some windows open and have anyone with allergies leave the house for a few hours.
  • Check your venting system for blockages from insect or small animal nests.
  • Install an electronic thermostat that allows you to program it. This WILL save you money.
  • Check your furnace filters once a month minimum. During heating/cooling season it is best to check it twice per month.
  • Insulate. Insulate. Insulate.