How to protect your furnace this winter

This is a guest post.


Don’t wait for the cold weather to arrive before you make time to prepare your hardworking furnace properly!  It’s one of the most important items in your home and will be used regularly during the weeks to come. It may well have a buildup of dust inside it or be blocked by debris, which could lead to a serious house fire.


Take some time out to ensure your furnace is operational, safe, and as energy efficient as you can make it.  You don’t want to discover you have no heating on the first icy day of winter.


Call the professionals

The safest and quickest way to ensure your furnace is in prime operating condition and up to the challenge ahead of it, is to call in the professionals. A furnace tune-up is a preventative maintenance service that is intended to keep the heating system in top working condition. There are many companies available to do this kind of work, such as and many more.

Appointing an NATE-certified, HVAC professional, will take the worry out of this essential job, and with most offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee, it could be one of the soundest investments you’ll make this year.  Shop around using the Internet, or ask friends and family for recommendations to find reliable furnace repair in Utah or anywhere else in the US.


Changing the air filter

Changing the air filter is essential as if it’s not squeaky clean it could be blowing debris back into your house, which could make you and your family sick.


If you don’t fancy changing the air filter once a month (as recommended) then you should invest in a permanent electronic filter, which is washable and very easy to install.


Disposable fiberglass filters were designed to remove only the largest particles from the air, with the goal of protecting your heating system – not your health.  Electronic filters are much better at trapping harmful bacteria, mould, pollen and viruses that could make you and your family sick.


Check the fan belt

You should regularly check your furnace fan belt for signs of damage – replacing it if it is.  A worn belt isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it will cost you money and drive you crazy with the noise!


If the belt looks worn, frayed, cracked or weak then it should be replaced straightaway. If the belt looks in great condition, but has more than ½ an inch of give either side of it, then tighten the extra slack using the motor adjusting belt.  Don’t tighten it too much though, as you could damage the motor and fan bearings.



Regardless of whether your furnace is powered by gas, or by electricity, it will operate from a user-programmed thermostat heating schedule.  Re-programming a thermostat is easy (once you know how) and should be done before winter arrives to ensure your home is kept warm and cosy during the cold months ahead.


The temperature of your home should lower during the night whilst you’re all asleep, or away from home, this could save you hundreds of dollars each year.


Other essential tips


  • Invest in a carbon monoxide and radon sensor if you don’t already have one
  • Remove any items you have stored near the furnace, particularly if it’s likely to catch fire easily
  • Remove household items stored in front of, or on top of, your air ducts and return vents
  • If you have hot water radiators, bleed the valves to make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible.


Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of difference magazines and news publications. Follow her here: @Debbie_Fletch18


Photo credit: Mila Zinkova / / CC BY-SA


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Thanks for reminding me to change filters! 🙂

  2. Great tips here, it is always terrible when your heater goes out when it is frigid out!!!

  3. Ours broke last week…it was AWFUL!

  4. We don’t have a furnace but take similar precautions when it comes to our a/c unit, which is very important during our 115 degree summers.

  5. This is important info. I always have a professional come out to service and inspect before we have the gas turned on.

  6. I have to laugh because I don’t even know what a furnace is! I am assuming it’s a cold weather appliance?

  7. Great tips. Maintaining your furnace is so important

  8. These tips are so important. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’ll definitely try to remember this when we buy a house.

  10. I need to show my husband this … he needs to change our air filter!

  11. Unfortunately, we don’t have a furnace but these are some really good tips for those who do.

  12. Ugh, having a broken furnace is the worst thing. Ours had issues last winter.

  13. This reminds me that my husband unplugged our carbon monoxide monitor a couple months ago and hasn’t put it back. I need to do that asap.

  14. That all freaks me out and makes me worry that we’ll do something wrong. We need to hire a professional to check everything for us.

  15. I have no clue what a furnace it…does everyone have it?

  16. We don’t have a furnace &I’m so glad because they seem like a lot of work!

  17. Those are great tips. We are always so concerned about the air conditioner, I did not think about the furnace.

  18. Jersey boy Hubs misses having an actual furnace. It’s just A/C units here in the South!

  19. This is one thing I don’t have be concerned about for awhile since I reside in an apartment. They sound like they can be a PITB (my dad is always having issues with his).

  20. I definitely call a professional when anything around the house breaks. Luckily I am in Florida, so we don’t have or need a furnace.

  21. In Texas we don’t have to worry about a furnace, thank goodness.