Prepare for Winter: A Guide to Getting Your Furnace Ready

No homeowner wants to turn on the furnace only to discover that it isn’t working once the coldest weather hits. To prevent such a hassle and keep yourself and your loved ones cozy and comfortable, ensure your furnace operates properly before winter arrives. Here are some ways to get your heating unit ready for winter:

Clean and Replace the Air Filters

Whether your air filters are found in the ceiling, wall, or the HVAC system itself, you should have them replaced regularly. Cleaning or replacing your air filters prevents particles from accumulating and extends their lifespan. 

The frequency of furnace filter replacement depends on the air filter model, air pollution levels, household size, number of pets, and indoor air quality. A good rule of thumb is to replace air filters every 30-90 days if you have basic one-to-five-inch air filters.

Clean the Heat Exchanger

Every furnace has a heat exchanger. This component is a thin metal shield that separates the combustion chamber and the blower. It works by distributing heated air from the furnace into your home through air ducts.

Since the heat exchanger has such an essential role in the heating process, it must be well-maintained. To keep it in excellent condition, make sure to brush and vacuum it yearly by a furnace maintenance professional. Additionally, book a regular inspection to look for cracks that could lead to a carbon monoxide leak.

Test the Igniter Switch

Newer furnaces are equipped with electric igniters. They light the furnace and warm your home by turning the fuel into heat. Before the cold sets in, turn the ignition switch on. If it isn’t working, push the reset button or check your breaker. Contact an HVAC maintenance professional if the problem persists.

Turn the Thermostat On

Another way to ensure your furnace stays functional for the winter is to turn the thermostat on, switch from cooling to heating, and set the room temperature several degrees higher than the current one. The heat should kick in within a minute. If it doesn’t, check if the wire connections are secure. Seek a furnace repair professional if you don’t feel confident about your skills to do this.

Lubricate and Clean the Blower Motor

A blower motor takes the heated air from the furnace and circulates it through vents throughout the home. This component ensures the room temperature reaches what’s on the thermostat. 

Check if your blower motor needs lubrication and cleaning if it malfunctions. If it does, turn the heating unit off, clean the caps, and lubricate the bearings. Another option is to seek a professional’s help if you don’t have enough experience to complete this task.

Check the Chimney and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Chimneys can accumulate carbon buildup. When left unmaintained, they can even house small animals. Because of this, have them inspected regularly by professionals. It’s also important to test or replace carbon monoxide detectors.


Ensuring your furnace stays functional and energy-efficient during winter not only keeps you and your family warm and comfortable but also cuts down your energy bills. To start getting your heating unit ready for wintertime, book an appointment with HVAC technicians today.

Whether you need furnace repair or replacement, you can count on our licensed HVAC contractors. At Legacy Heating and Cooling, we have a wide range of furnace options in different models and varying prices. Contact us now for a free quote!

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