As the winter chill sets in and Philadelphia streets start twinkling with holiday lights, it’s crucial to ensure your home remains a warm, cozy refuge. Keeping your furnace in top condition is essential to this endeavor. Here are seven tips to maintain your furnace during the winter and the holiday season:

1. Change the Air Filter

Regularly changing the air filter in your furnace can prevent clogs that strain your system and decrease efficiency. A clean filter ensures better air quality and increases the lifespan of your furnace. During the winter months, consider changing the filter every month if your furnace is in constant use.

2. Check the Thermostat

Before the cold season fully sets in, check your thermostat to make sure it’s working correctly. Sometimes, problems thought to be furnace issues are actually thermostat malfunctions. Ensure it's accurately reading the temperature and responding correctly to your settings.

3. Inspect the Blower Belt

Listen for any unusual sounds, such as squealing, which might indicate a loose or frayed blower belt. Replacing the belt before it breaks can save you from a lack of heat and costly emergency service calls during the holiday season.

4. Clear the Area Around Your Furnace

Ensure that the area around your furnace is clear of stored items, particularly flammable materials. This not only minimizes fire risk but also improves ventilation, allowing your furnace to operate more efficiently.

5. Schedule a Professional Inspection

Annual inspections by a professional HVAC technician can prevent unexpected failures. Services like those offered by McCorry Comfort include checking your system’s components, verifying that the furnace is operating safely, and ensuring optimal performance throughout the winter.

6. Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Winter is a prime time for carbon monoxide incidents due to the use of heating appliances like furnaces. Ensure your home’s carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly by testing them regularly and replacing batteries as needed.

7. Look for Signs of Wear

Inspect visible components of your furnace for signs of wear or damage. Check for rust on the exhaust pipe, unusual flames in the burner (flames should be blue, not yellow), and listen for irregular noises that could indicate mechanical issues.

Preparing for the Holidays

As you deck your halls and trim your tree, don’t forget to give your furnace a little holiday attention. A well-maintained furnace is more than just a source of warmth; it ensures your home stays comfortable and safe throughout the season, letting you focus on enjoying the festive time with family and friends.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can help prevent unexpected furnace problems and ensure a warm, peaceful winter and holiday season in your Philadelphia home.