The Heat Is On!

Get your furnace checked before you put it to work this year.

By FamilyTime

 For those of us who live in single-family homes, the furnace is a responsibility we cannot ignore. It’s a good idea to make sure it’s in good working order before the temperature plummets and we depend on it for our general well being and comfort.

The company that supplies your fuel will give the furnace a check up, or you can call a reliable plumber. And with some furnaces, there are a few things you can do yourself.
  1. Make sure the system is working. Turn it on to full blast (within reason, of course!) and make sure that all vents or radiators are operational.
  2. Change the filter in a furnace that runs a hot-air system. Filters are inexpensive and are sold in all hardware stores. Buy the most efficient filter you can.
  3. Check the pressure-relief valve for a hot-water system and if you see leaking water, call your heating contractor. Talk to him about draining the entire system on a regular basis (once a year or so) to empty it of sediment.
  4. If you have a steam system, check the low-water cutoff. This device determines when the water in the boiler drops. You might have to ask your service man to check this for you.
  5. As a rule, all oil-run furnaces should be cleaned every year by a professional and most oil companies will contract to do this. This involves changing the filter and the nozzle and making sure there are no clogs in the system.
  6. Rely on a certified chimney sweep to clean the chimney for the furnace and the fireplace. This should be done annually.

Servicing the furnace is one of those chores no one likes to do, but once you take care of it, you will have greater peace of mind. And when winter’s icy winds are gusting outside, it’s reassuring to have an efficient and dependable furnace keeping us warm and happy.