It’s nearly that time of year again when the homeowners in the Collingwood and Georgian Bay area start to prepare for the winter season. One of the most important aspects of that preparation is your gas furnace. It’s time to call a professional and have a checkup done to ensure your furnace is operating correctly and a peak performance.

Below are some things to do before the professionals arrive.

Replace or clean the current filters. The more clogged the filter is in your furnace, the more airflow becomes restricted. This makes the furnace work harder and with that the end result is less heat.

If you know how to do it you should check that the blower belt is tight and that the blower motor is oiled. A loose belt results in the furnace running longer. Even if the belt is only cracked slightly or frayed, for peak performance you should replace it. For the motor you only need a few drops of oil and it will continue to run smoothly. If you have a blower motor that is sealed then there is no need to oil it.

Blower doors should be replaced occasionally to ensure that the byproducts of combustion, meaning carbon monoxide, are kept separate from the air that is circulating in your home. All homes should have a carbon monoxide detector in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

Go check all the vents throughout your home and make sure there are no obstructions that could prevent full air flow. For peak efficiency your ducts need to be able to circulate cool air freely in the system.

Make sure your outside exhaust flue is also clear of any obstructions and that it is in good condition. Check from the roof cap to the furnace ensuring all connections are secure. Remove the cap that’s near the water heater and the furnace and peer through the flue to make sure you can see outside. When replacing the cap make sure that you have secured it properly. If your water heater and furnace are enclosed in a small room, make sure they are getting enough air flow.

Check around your water heater and furnace to ensure there are no flammable objects that could be hazardous. These include paints, clothes, boxes, yard tools with motors and anything else that could be considered flammable.

Follow the above and when your professional gas man visits everything will be ready for them to inspect.