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As winter sets in and the rain brings a chill, many throughout California are reaching for their thermostat. However, if you haven’t had your heater on in a while, here are a few tips to make sure you and your family aren’t left in the cold as the temperatures fall throughout the season…

Most furnace problems will present themselves almost instantaneously the first time the furnace is fired up for the winter. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to start the furnace at least a month before you anticipate it will be needed. This will allow you to inspect for problems and plan repairs in advance so you’re not left cold in a house with no heat.

As you turn on your furnace for the first time this season, you may notice a funny smell. This is the small of dust being burned off the heating element. It should last for only a few minutes and is no cause for alarm. Similarly, you shouldn’t be worried about the odd noises or sounds that you may hear during the beginning of the season. These might be the sound of parts heating up or the sound of hot air being forced through air ducts that haven’t been used recently.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it may take a furnace a little while to heat up the first time it is turned on for the season. The cold air has to be pushed through the ducts and the unit itself has sat dormant for some time. This is not a reason for concern, however, should your unit take longer than usual on a regular basis, it could be a sign that the system is in need of repair.

If you find that you need furnace repair, call a professional for consultations and if needed, repairs.

Symptoms to watch out for may include:

  • A funny smell that doesn’t disappear within a few minutes of starting the unit.
  • Noises that persist or sound abnormal to past experience.

Remember that your heating system is most likely using the same air ducts as the air conditioner. Any duct problems that you had when running your air conditioner will be there when you run the heating system as well.

Also, be sure to change your filters regularly. An old filter makes the HVAC system work too hard to move air, and it might burn up early as a result.

If you want to make sure your home is winter ready, contact our offices in San Jose, CA. We look at both commercial and residential systems, perform routine maintenance and alleviate the concerns of our clients. We’ll look forward to hearing from you.