Preventive Heating Maintenance Tips for Clarksville Residents - Tidwell & Sons Skip to main content

If you’re a homeowner, there are few nightmares worse than having your heating fail in the dead of winter. With temperatures in our area often dipping below freezing during the cold months, this seemingly minor emergency can turn into a serious safety crisis. Cold indoor temperatures can trigger health conditions faster than you might think, with temperatures under 64 degrees triggering hypothermia symptoms in certain populations.

That’s why heating maintenance is so crucial for Clarksville homes! With your furnace running at peak condition, you’ll be less likely to run into heating emergencies that cause frustrating and even dangerous issues.

As you work through your winter preparation checklist, we’ve put together a few extra things to add. Read on to learn more.

Keeping Your HVAC System Clean

One of the easiest ways to maintain your heater is with regular cleaning. A clean HVAC system is always more efficient, as it won’t have to work as hard to circulate air through clogged areas in your home.

Change Your Filters

Start by checking and changing your HVAC filters, which you should do at least once every 30-90 days while you’re using your furnace.

When your filters become dirty or clogged, your system can’t always get warm air where it needs to. The added strain can lead to increased wear and tear, higher utility bills, and even a premature system replacement if you aren’t careful!

Clean Your Furnace

Clear the area around your furnace before you start running it each winter. This helps maintain proper ventilation, and it also eliminates potential fire hazards. Do the same with your outdoor unit by trimming overgrown foliage, removing any nearby debris, and keeping the surface free of ice and snow.

Back inside, dust and clean your interior unit. An easy way to do this is with a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, though you might need gentle cleaning chemicals for any set-in grime.

This includes cleaning the area around your pilot light, which must be dirt-free to ensure a healthy blue flame. Make sure to turn off your gas before you do this.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also lubricate the fan motor. This is a job that needs to be done at least once a year. However, you can have an expert tackle the task if you prefer.

Last, clean your furnace’s flame sensor. This metallic rod helps your system understand when an active flame is burning, so keeping it clean is crucial for your furnace’s performance.

Clean Vents and Registers

Vacuum the area around your vents and registers as well. Getting rid of dust and debris helps your system push warm air into your home. If you’ve moved any furniture around these openings, be sure to move it.

Heating Maintenance Tips for Clarksville Homes

Beyond cleaning, there are several maintenance tasks you should take care of. Always power your system down before you start.

Thermostat Maintenance

Plan to change your thermostat’s batteries at least once a year to prevent failure. 

If your thermostat needs regular calibration, do so at the start of each heating season. Follow the settings in your owner’s manual.

This is also a good opportunity to reprogram a smart thermostat, if you have one. Consider your household’s schedule and your heating needs. As a rule of thumb, an ideal temperature for winter is around 68 degrees during the day.

Inspect Ductwork

If you have any visible ducts throughout your home, especially in unfinished areas like your attic or basement, do a quick inspection. If you notice any gaps, a quick DIY repair with mastic tape or sealant can fix the problem for the moment. However, make sure to bring this issue up at your next HVAC tune-up.

This is a good time to consider your insulation as well. If the temperature in unheated areas of the property feels a little too cold, consider adding insulation around your ducts to improve your system’s efficiency.

As you start using your heater, watch for signs of indoor allergens that may indicate the need for duct cleaning.

Check Your Safety Measures

Furnaces are designed for safety, but it’s still crucial to make sure you’re ready for any potential gas, fire, or health hazards.

Start with your carbon monoxide detector, which is your first warning system if something goes wrong with your furnace. You should check your detector once a month as long as you’re running your heater.

While you’re doing so, check the smoke detectors throughout your home as well. Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible, and replace it if it has expired. In addition, ensure everyone in your home knows how to use this device.

Winter Preparation With Pro HVAC Maintenance

If you want to avoid HVAC repairs all season long, top off your home maintenance with an expert tune-up! A professional can clean hard-to-reach areas, perform maintenance you can’t do on your own, and diagnose minor issues before they turn into major headaches. We recommend getting an inspection at least once a year.

Here are the types of tasks your contractor will tackle during a routine tune-up:

  • Check carbon monoxide levels
  • Check humidity levels
  • Clean the interior and exterior of your system
  • Inspect and tighten electrical wiring
  • Replace furnace filter
  • Lubricate parts, including blower and bearings
  • Check fan speed and blower rotation
  • Calibrate thermostat and test system controls
  • Inspect and clean drain lines
  • Check ambient temperature
  • Inspect gas or oil line connection
  • Test ignition system

If your contractor notices that you need furnace repair, they can also advise you on your next steps and even perform certain minor fixes then and there.

Get More Out of Your Heater

Basic heating maintenance can go a long way toward keeping Clarksville homes comfortable all season long. With the winter preparation tips above, you’ll find your system running more efficiently in no time!

If you’re ready to schedule a tune-up or you need furnace repairs, trust Tidwell & Sons HVAC. Though we’re based in Cumberland Furnace, we’re proud to service properties throughout Clarksville, Dickson, Charlotte, White Bluff, and beyond. Contact us today to book an appointment!

 (615) 802-5568