Prepare for the Cold Now

by Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

Every year, we are faced with the inevitable task of preparing for the coming winter weather season. Cooler weather is showing its face and we have began calling on our heating systems to go back to work for us. The change of seasons requires us to prepare our heating systems for the long cold winter ahead, and although I written on this topic every fall, these checks need to be completed before you click the thermostat to heat. 

If you think you are done using the air conditioner, it is a good idea to turn off its breaker or fuse. If you don’t, the small amount of heat generated in the air conditioner when it’s off makes a perfect home for mice in the winter. Should they nest in the air conditioning unit, they can do quite a bit of damage to the wiring or insulation. Also, now is a good time to install the cover on the air conditioner. Remember, do not wrap it in plastic. Use a quality custom cover that breathes, or even just a piece of plywood on top to help keep out the snow and leaves.

Change the filter in the furnace if it is a throw-away style. If it is a washable style, simply hose it off or use a mild detergent if it has greasy dust.

If you have a humidifier, some styles have a damper in them that should be reset to the winter position. Humidifiers also require cleaning once a year and replacement of their pads or water panels. If the unit has a manual humidity control, turn it on and set it for 35% humidity.

Make sure the area around the furnace is uncongested and nothing is leaning against the furnace or restricting airflow to it.

If you have an electronic or programmable thermostat, change its batteries and don’t forget the batteries in the smoke or carbon monoxide detector.

If your furnace has plastic exhaust pipes that exit through the side of the house, make sure they are clear of vegetation and that wasps have not built a nest in them over the summer.

It is highly recommended you have your system professionally serviced at least once a year. This allows the furnace to run at peak efficiency and will ensure it is operating safely. It doesn’t matter when it is inspected, just have it done once a year.

Lastly, go ahead and turn the furnace on now to make sure it works before you really need it.

Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, ask the experts at or call 440-526-7310.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

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Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, ask the experts at or call 440-526-7310.

Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.