The beginning of Fall signals the time is near to switch back to heating your home. You might have a little checklist for getting your home ready before winter starts, and one item on the list you may dread is “winter furnace prep”.

How much of that task can you do, and how much requires a professional? Only some of your winter furnace preparation falls on you, or at least is safe for you to do. Many items on the checklist rely on the expertise of a professional HVAC technician. Properly equipped and trained to work on your furnace, they will be able to perform several maintenance steps beyond the average homeowner’s abilities. While each furnace brand and configuration has its own requirements, these seven steps are basic to all service calls:

  1. Inspect and lubricate moving parts — A little light lubrication in all the right places can add years of service to your furnace
  2. Inspect the electrical connections and systems —Loose connections can cause sparks or trip safety systems
  3. Inspect, clean, and adjust your furnace’s burners— Energy efficiency is gained or lost at your furnace’s burners
  4. Check fuel or gas line for leaks
  5. Measure carbon monoxide levels and ensure proper ventilation —This can save your life and the lives of family and pets
  6. Test safety features — Purposely tripping and resetting safety controls ensures proper shut-off in the event of a real emergency
  7. Inspect, test, and adjust your thermostat — Especially true with programmable thermostats, a few adjustments can save big money on energy efficiency and properly timed furnace operation

By spending a little time in early Fall getting your furnace ready for its hardest work, you can extend the life of your system, enjoy energy savings through increased efficiency, and still have a snug, cozy home all winter long.