3 Tips For Shutting Down Your Home's Gas Furnace In The Spring
Once the weather has warmed up in the springtime, you may be ready to get rid of your heater for the season so you can crank up the air conditioner. If so, once the threat of cold weather has passed, use the following tips to shut down your home's gas furnace in preparation for the warm, summer months.
1. Extinguish the Pilot and Turn Off the Power
When you feel you no longer need your furnace, the first thing you should do is turn it off. This step includes extinguishing the pilot light. While it is generally safe to keep the pilot on, there really is not a need for it since it will continue to draw and burn gas, which will only add to your monthly bill.
Once you have put out the pilot and set the dial inside of the furnace to the off position, find the main gas line switch that feeds the furnace and turn it off as well. This will help prevent any gas leaks from the furnace while it is not in use.
After taking care of the gas, the next thing you should do is switch off the electricity to the blower and unplug the furnace. Switching off the electricity helps keep you from accidentally turning on the furnace if you bump the switch on your thermostat while adjusting your air conditioner's setting.
2. Clean the Interior and Change the Air Filter
Once all of the gas and power has been switched off, the next thing you should do is give the furnace a good cleaning. As part of this task, you will need to remove the access panel by following your owner's manual.
After removing the panel, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to pick up any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated. While you may feel this step is unnecessary because you will not be using the furnace, doing this before shutting it down will decrease the risk of excess dust absorbing moisture and creating a larger mess during the humid summer weather.
Once you have vacuumed out the furnace, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth to remove any residual dirt or grease. Then, replace the air filter with a clean one even if it has not been too long since you last changed it.
If you do not change the filter, even if the old one is fairly new, any pollen, dirt, and dust may become damp when the weather gets humid. This may lead to mold or mildew growth that could spread throughout the interior of the furnace, creating a huge mess for you to clean up in the fall.
3. Ask Yourself Whether Your Furnace Performed Satisfactorily Last Winter
Once you have cleaned out the furnace and changed the filter, ask yourself about the unit's performance during the winter. Did it keep your home as warm as you like? Or do you feel that your house was constantly cold, requiring you to run the heater more often?
If you do not feel as though your furnace performed satisfactorily last winter, this would be a good time to have a professional take a look at it, instead of waiting until something breaks down next winter.
Using the tips above can help to ensure that your furnace is ready to go when the weather turns cool once again in the fall. However, if you suspect that there may be an issue that requires professional attention, contact a company that offers HVAC services to have them inspect your furnace and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.