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Winter Ready: A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Furnace for Success

furnace burning in living room of Las Vegas home in the winter

Although the days are still warm and sunny here in Las Vegas, we’re excited for the small taste of fall that cooler nights bring. It reminds us that chilly weather is right around the corner — and that means we’ll be relying on our heaters sooner rather than later.

As the chill of winter sets in, ensuring your home is a warm haven becomes a top priority. At Pure Plumbing & Air, we understand the importance of a smoothly functioning heating system. This guide will walk you through the steps of turning on your furnace for the first time this year. We will also go over how to turn on your furnace based on the current system in your home.

Taking care of these steps can help your heating system function more efficiently, potentially saving you money on energy bills and preventing unexpected breakdowns during the colder months. 

1. Replace the Air Filter

The air filter in your furnace plays a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality and system efficiency. Over time, it can become clogged with dust and debris, hindering airflow. We recommend regularly changing or cleaning your home’s filters, ideally every one to three months, to ensure proper airflow and prevent overheating. 

So, start the season fresh by replacing the air filter to ensure proper heating and ventilation.

2. Check for Obstructions

Before you switch on your furnace, inspect the area around it. Start by creating a clear zone around your furnace. Remove any clutter, stored items, or flammable materials. Pure Plumbing & Air recommends maintaining a minimum clearance of three feet for optimal safety and efficiency. This will ensure the unit has proper ventilation!

3. Test the Thermostat

Make sure your thermostat is functioning correctly. Replace the batteries, if it’s battery-operated, and set it to the desired temperature. If you notice any issues, consider contacting a professional for thermostat repair or replacement.

4. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Safety first! Install a carbon monoxide detector around the home and regularly check its batteries. This is a crucial step for people who have a gas furnace. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal if left unchecked. We recommend testing the detector monthly to ensure it is functioning correctly. 

If you are still determining if your furnace is ready to be turned on, contact Pure Plumbing & Air for a safety inspection to be sure! Pure Plumbing & Air has state-of-the-art equipment to detect carbon monoxide leaks or gas.

5. Open All Vents

Check that all vents and registers in your home are open and unobstructed. Closed vents can disrupt the balanced airflow in your HVAC system, making your furnace work harder and less efficiently.

6. Clear Dust and Debris

Dust and debris can accumulate in and around your furnace during the offseason. Although only a professional should clean the interior components of your furnace — including the burners, blower, and motor — you can vacuum around the furnace to get rid of any extra dust circulating in the air.

7. Schedule Professional Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your furnace. Schedule an annual heating service with a Las Vegas professional HVAC technician from Pure Plumbing & Air. They can identify and address potential issues before they become major problems.

Bonus: Monitor for Strange Sounds or Smells

When you finally turn your heat on, pay attention to the sounds and smells emitted by your furnace. Unusual noises, such as banging or rattling, can indicate loose or damaged components. Strange odors, like burning plastic or a musty smell, may suggest a problem with the furnace or ductwork.

What Heating System Do You Have?

Once you’ve ensured that your heater is well-equipped for success, take the opportunity to initiate your furnace or heat pump system! 

1. Firing Up Your Furnace: If you have a gas or electric furnace, start by checking the thermostat. Set it to a comfortable temperature, then switch the furnace to the “heat” mode. We  recommend inspecting your home’s filters and replacing them if necessary for optimal performance.

2. Activating Heat Pumps: Ensure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature for those with heat pump systems. If you’ve been using your heat pump for cooling, switch it to “heat” mode. We suggest keeping the outdoor unit clear of debris to maintain efficiency.

Keep Warm Through The Cold Nights

As winter settles in, your furnace or heater ensures your home remains cozy and comfortable. Whether taking basic precautions to increase your system’s security and functionality or following specific steps tailored to your heating system, you can protect your household and loved ones from the winter chill. 

At Pure Plumbing & Air, we know that a well-maintained furnace is essential for your comfort and safety during the colder months in Las Vegas. If you need assistance with any of the steps mentioned above or require professional furnace maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team. We offer the best heating repairs in Las Vegas, Henderson, and the surrounding areas. 

Trust us to keep your home warm and inviting all season long as your partner in home comfort. Get in touch with us today for all your plumbing and HVAC needs, and enjoy a winter season that’s both worry-free and toasty warm.

For all your plumbing and HVAC needs, contact Pure Plumbing & Air — your partner in home safety and comfort. Stay warm and stay safe!