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How To Prepare Your Furnace For Winter | |

Here are some helpful tips for getting your furnace ready for winter.

As the winter season approaches, it is important to take care as you turn on and begin to use your home heating unit. Turning the furnace on after colder weather has already arrived dramatically increases the strain placed on the system. Since the unit will have to work harder during this initial start-up, it can be very risky to turn it on without it having already been inspected. If your furnace is already being used, it is still a good idea to revisit any inspection points you may have missed. If you still have yet to turn on your heating unit, please keep the following in mind as you get started:

  • Check the Filter: Before turning on the heating unit for regular operation, it is important to check the cleanliness of the filter. A dirty, clogged filter will result in poor air flow, reducing the efficiency of the unit. Reduced efficiency can cause increased energy bills, uneven heating throughout the home, and eventually damage to the system itself. The unit may begin overheating, triggering the limit switch. This will shut the system down, and eventually it may not restart. Continuing to use a furnace with restricted air flow will also cause strain to multiple parts of the system, and can result in mechanical failures.
  • CO Detection: In the interest of safety, every homeowner needs to make sure their carbon monoxide detectors are up to date, powered up, and working correctly. This is especially important for owners of aging furnaces, as the danger of cracks in the heat exchanger increase over time. A crack in the wall of the heat exchanger can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas to leak out into the primary air flow to the rest of the house. Being an otherwise undetectable gas, it is important to have reliable detectors installed in the home.
  • Be Aware of Common “Start-Up Smells”: Turning the furnace on for the first time before winter will usually result in an odor. It may seem as though something in the unit is burning as a result of an electrical or mechanical failure, but it usually just the dust burning off of the heat exchanger. It is still a good idea to verify that dust is the culprit, but there is usually no cause for alarm due to these initial odors.
  • Consider a Furnace Tune-Up: Many homeowners can complete an initial, basic furnace inspection on their own. However, it may be beneficial to schedule a professional furnace tune-up, especially if no prior annual HVAC inspection has been performed. During the tune-up, the City Heating & Air technician will inspect the filter, motor, and heat exchanger; lubricate the furnace as needed; and provide quotes for any necessary repairs found to be needed.

For any heating services and repairs, or to schedule your professional furnace tune-up, please contact us at 865-938-1005 or email

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City Heat & Air | 3111 NW Park Dr | Knoxville | Tennessee | 37921
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