As the hot summer months come to an end, it’s time to prepare your heating system for the cooler autumn and summer months. Here at Conejo Valley Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., we’ve compiled some useful tips to ensure that you experience no issues with your furnace this year. Read on to learn more about furnace tune-up, maintenance, and furnace repair that will guarantee cozy autumn and winter for your household or building!
Gearing Up Your Furnace For Winter
Even though it’s still September, it’s important to beat the rush and influx of furnace tune-up, maintenance, and inspection calls. By checking on your furnace and heating system now before the chillier months arrive, you’ll be able to detect and fix any issues before they become more costly or time-sensitive. If you’re a Ventura County homeowner, stay prepared for the colder winter months by taking the following steps to ensure your furnace is in proper working order.
If you have any questions about your furnace or would like to schedule an inspection, please call us directly at 805.499.0448. We are also available for 24 hour Emergency Furnace Repair to service all of your furnace needs and emergencies!
Here are some of the key steps you can take at home to prepare your furnace for autumn and winter.
Replace dirty/clogged air filters:
Changing air filters regularly ensures the proper functioning of your entire HVAC system. If you haven’t changed the filter in your furnace since before or during the summer, it’s time to change it out. Unchanged dirty air filters are the number one culprit of HVAC issues and malfunctions. At Conejo Valley Heating & Air, we recommend that property owners check their air filters at least once a month.
Also, keep in mind that any change in temperature or season is the perfect time to replace your indoor air filters. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing air filters is the most crucial tasks in ensuring the overall energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
You can find most replacement filters at your local hardware store, but you will need to know the size and type of your current filter before purchasing one. If a replacement filter does not fit properly, it could wreak havoc on your HVAC system.
All air filters are assigned a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), a numerical rating that was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Rated on a scale from 1 to 16, the higher the MERV value, the more efficient the filter is at trapping airborne particles, which in turn increases the efficiency of your heating or cooling unit. When choosing a replacement air filter, you will want to select one with a matching MERV rating to ensure proper airflow and functioning.
If you have any issues locating your air filter or finding a replacement, contact your furnace’s manufacturer or local HVAC technicians for assistance!
Check all of your vents:
Often forgotten, one-way homeowners can prepare their heating system for winter is by checking all of their vents. This entails walking through your home and locating all of the vents in each room. Mainly, homeowners ought to check if any of their vents are blocked, which inhibit proper heating to a room, and can even cause your furnace to overheat. We also recommend that you wipe all of your vent’s grates with a wet cloth to remove any dust at the openings.
Sometimes homeowners will purposely close or block vents in unused rooms, believing this to be an energy-efficient measure. However, this can be dangerous for your furnace and entire heating system. Any closed air vents will reduce overall airflow, can cause leaks in your ducts, lead to excess moisture and mold growth in blocked areas, and, in the riskiest scenarios, crack your system’s heat exchanger—which can cause carbon monoxide leaking into your home, endangering your household’s inhabitants and guests!
Have your ductwork inspected:
Before winter hits, it’s important to have all of your ducts looked at by a certified and insured HVAC professional. Autumn is the perfect time to have your ductwork serviced for any debris, holes, or other issues that lead to improper or less efficient heating throughout your home or building.
Clean your furnace burner:
Because many furnaces lie dormant throughout the spring and summer, especially in sunny Southern California, they tend to accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris that can cause clogs, blockages, or wear and tear for some of its key components. Be sure to have your furnace burners cleaned properly to ensure they are prepared for the colder months when they indeed arrive.
Test your furnace and carbon monoxide detector:
As mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea (and should be common practice) to test your furnace before wintertime. When you turn your heating system on, be sure to listen for any strange sounds or irregular noises, such as banging or rattling. In addition to checking that your thermostat is functioning properly at accurate temperatures, now is the perfect time to replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector or buy a new one entirely.
Refill on gas if necessary:
Another great way to prepare for winter heating and save a little money is by calling your gas company and having them refill the gas in your gas furnace. Due to lesser demand, gas also tends to be cheaper at the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn, as opposed to the prices in full-blown winter.
Check your hot water radiator:
If you have a hot water radiator, a simple servicing technique is to “bleed the valves.” This entails opening the valves and closing them when water starts to come out. Not only does this relieve any pressure build-up, but it also ensures proper flow. If you are unsure about checking the valves yourself, be sure to call your local HVAC professional to do it for you!
Furnace Repair Frequently Asked Questions
Before scheduling any furnace tune-up, maintenance, and furnace repair services, it’s normal for many property owners and property managers to have questions about their heating system. Here are some of the most common questions we receive from clients and callers in regards to their furnace and what might be the cause of any issue.
How much will it cost to fix my furnace?
Though the cost of repairing a furnace varies greatly according to HVAC company, the issue, labor, and parts, property owners can spend anywhere between $50 or $800 to fix their furnace. At Conejo Valley Heating & Air, we work with our clients to provide the most cost-effective HVAC solutions. We provide free quotes, estimates, and second opinions for furnaces throughout Ventura County!
What is wrong with my furnace?
Like any household appliance, your furnace is a complex machine designed to create convenience for you, your family, and any visitors or guests. Your furnace can stop working for a plethora of reasons, but here are some of the common issues we encounter in the field:
- Cracked Heat Exchanger
- Dirty Filter(s)
- Frayed/Slipped Blower Belt
- Pilot Control/Electric Ignition Issues
- Thermostat Malfunctions
- Yellow/Flickering Pilot Light
- Worn Ball Bearings
- Frequent Cycling
- Limit Switch
- General Mechanical Problems (i.e. Airflow Reductions, Clogged Burners, etc.)
At Conejo Valley Heating & Air, we are certified and experienced at repairing and replacing all of the necessary components to get your furnace back to running at peak performance!
How do I reset my furnace’s motor?
To check if your furnace is running properly, sometimes it’s necessary to reset the motor. Start with turning off the power to the furnace at the circuit breaker, which is clearly marked on your property. Then, you’ll want to lift up the blower compartment cover to access the blower wheel and blower motor of your furnace. On most models, the reset button is a small red or yellow button on the side of the blower motor, which you’ll want to press to reset. If you have issues locating the blower motor or reset button, call the furnace manufacturer or your local HVAC professional to help you out.
How do I troubleshoot my furnace at home?
If you simply want to test your furnace before winter hits, try the following and note any irregularities:
- Clean or replace any air filter(s).
- Replace your thermostat’s batteries.
- Set your thermostat to a higher temperature than the current room temperature.
- Check electrical panel for blown fuses or tripped breakers.
- Make sure the power switch near your furnace is turned on.
How long does a furnace typically last before it needs to be replaced?
Even though it can be quite rare, did you know that some furnaces can work for up to 40 years? However, the average lifespan of a typical gas furnace is anywhere between 15 to 30 years. At Conejo Valley Heating & Air, we recommend yearly maintenance for your furnace to ensure it lasts at least 15 years and beyond.
Stay Warm This Winter With Our Professional Furnace Tune-Up
When it comes to your HVAC system, it’s never too early to start preparing for the next season. This saves you the inconvenience of breakdowns and waitlists, as well as potentially more costly damages in the future.
If you encounter any questions or need help with any of the components or suggestions, your local HVAC professionals at Conejo Valley Heating & Air Conditioning will conduct an 11 point professional tune-up of your Furnace. This furnace tune-up program involves checking of proper functioning of all components and safety switches.
- Clean or replace filters as needed
- Inspect duct work for efficient cooling
- Monitor proper functioning of thermostat
- Inspect safety devices and Gas Valves for proper operation
- Check for Carbon Monoxide detector
- Check for gas leakage
- Test all electrical components and tighten them
- Check blower motor capacitor for proper speed
- Heat exchanger camera inspection
- Monitor temperature differences
- Test hot water radiator for proper operation
Do you have any additional questions about how to prepare your furnace and heating system for winter? Give us all with any inquiries or inspection requests at 805.499.0448.