7 Steps to Get Your Furnace Ready for Winter


In the above video, we share basic furnace maintenance tips to get your furnace ready for winter. To help give your furnace the best chance of it making it through the winter, here are 7 easy things you can do.


Go to the thermostat and put it to the heat setting. Then turn on the thermostat and turn it up high enough for the heat to come on. Check the vents around your home and make sure they’re open. It’s normal for there to be a burning type of smell when you first turn it on.

furnace ready - working right

You want to look at and around your furnace and do a visual inspection. 

  • Look around the furnace. Make sure there are no items stacked around it, especially anything flammable.
  • Check the venting from the furnace. It should be secured to the furnace and have a continuous upward path. Check for water and rust around the base of the unit as well.
  • Do you see signs of water on the floor or rust anywhere?
  • Look for a big pipe coming into the room that is 6-10”. In the winter you might feel a cold draft coming from it and think that blocking that with something would be good, but keep it clear and open (don’t ever stick anything up in there).
  • Check the gas line going into the side of the furnace and smell around the connections to see if there is an obvious gas smell (rotten egg) there.
furnace ready - do a visual inspection

Keeping the space clean around the furnace is important and helpful to the furnace itself. The furnace pulls air in to mix with the gas it’s burning and with that pulls dust in that gets on the internal components and negatively affects how they perform. Vacuum around the furnace unit to remove any dust and also wipe down the outside of the furnace.

furnace ready - clean furnace

This step is the #1 thing that you can do for the health of your furnace. Changing your air filter regularly can make a difference on how your furnace unit performs.

  • Shut power off.
  • Remove old filter and look to see if it needs to be replaced (hold it up to the light).
  • Pay attention to the arrow/airflow symbol on the side of the air filter you are taking out and make sure that the new filter goes in the right way.
  • Install new filter if needed.
  • Change air filter regularly (every 1-3 months is recommended).
furnace ready - change air filter
5.  CHECK THE HUMIDIFIER   (if you have one)

If you have a humidifier connected to your furnace: 

  • Check for signs of water leaks and open the damper.
  • Look at the pad and replace it if needed.
  • Locate the water line and make sure the valve is open.
  • Check the drain line to make sure it isn’t clogged and also check the humidistat and set it at 40-50%.
furnace ready - check humidifier

Another thing to do is to check the CO (carbon monoxide) detector (there should be one close to the furnace or on the level of the furnace unit) and test it to make sure it’s working and replace the batteries if it’s been over a year.

furnace ready - check carbon monoxide detector

If your thermostat has batteries, you’re going to want to change them. And if your thermostat is programmable, look at it to make sure the programming is the way that you want it to be set at for the winter months.

furnace ready - check thermostat
Manufacturers recommend having your furnace inspected and maintained by a properly trained technician at least once a year. Any Hour Services developed our furnace tune-up to do just that.
Anyone should be able to do this basic furnace maintenance to help get their furnace ready to heat your home over the winter. If you ever feel like you’ve gotten in over your head, or would like a professional to check out your furnace, call a technician you trust to help.

As always, if you ever feel like you’ve gotten in over your head, stop and call a technician that you trust for some help. If you’re in the Utah market, consider calling Any Hour Services.

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Oct 29th 2021

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