There is no convenient time to have a heating system malfunction. However, you can prevent being left out in the cold by performing routine pre-season inspections and maintenance. A home inspection takes very little time, and keeping on top of issues before they're a problem will help keep you and your family warm and cozy throughout those long, cold winter nights.
Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor unit, you should inspect around the motor, fan blades, and wires for damage or wear. It's also important to look for evidence of damage to electrical parts, including the main controls and circuit boards. Once you've assessed the system for damage, clean the coils and other components, oil any moving parts, and check around the drainage pan and lines for blockages or leaks.
If your system is an outdoor heat pump, you'll have to pay attention to yard debris and dirt buildup in and around the cabinet that can inhibit airflow. Interior systems are usually connected to a network of blowers and ducts, which you can inspect and clean yourself or have it done professionally. Additional elements to tend to in your furnace are the flue, controls, safety features, and ignition. It's also a good idea to turn the unit on to listen for odd noises and check for odors. Lastly, the blower housing, wheel, and motor should be vacuumed and lubricated. When all else is finished, replace air filters and you're good to go.
If you notice any problems, contact a repair specialist. Checking your HVAC system early for problems can save you money in costly future repairs. For professional help, contact your local heating and cooling company and set up an appointment for a thorough assessment.
HVAC MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST