Here in Chicagoland in February, the furnace has been running around the clock for a few months now.  As we start to dream of warmer temperatures and hopefully experience the last blasts of cold weather before the spring, our furnaces are still working hard to keep our homes cozy and warm during these last months of winter.  Here are a few things to do to ensure your furnace will remain in good working condition not only throughout these next few months but also for the next winter season.

Change the filter.  During the winter when the furnace is almost constantly running, it’s important to change the air filter every one to two months.  A fresh filter will allow your furnace to blow heat more efficiently, keeping dust and dirt from building up in the system, while also ensuring the circulated air in your home is clean.  Thinking ahead to spring, a clean air filter can also benefit air conditioners in the summer months as well.

Check for leaks.  The most common reason for a leaking furnace is a condensing leak.  Condensate should be draining into a floor drain. If not, the leak could be from the condensate tubing becoming clogged or from breaks in the line.  A leak could also be the result of a faulty humidifier.

Check the vents.  Cleaning the air vents throughout the home is also a good way to make sure your home stays warm through the last months of winter.  Wash off the grills and clear any debris that may have accumulated in the visible portion of the vent. Also, make sure there isn’t anything obstructing the air vents that would prevent the flow of warm air.

Have a professional inspection.  Regular inspections are the most effective way to prevent issues and save money on repairs.  Don’t wait until late fall to find any problems with your furnace. Having a furnace inspection done at the end of the winter season will make sure it’s ready to work hard when the temperatures drop again.

Let’s face it, the heart of the winter is no time for your furnace to stop working.  Giving your furnace a midseason checkup can help maintain your home’s comfort until the birds begin to chirp again.