Check These Things Before Starting Your Heater in the Winter

The winter season is beckoning in most midwestern states, and people are checking the condition of their heating systems. Make sure your family is comfortable this winter by checking these things before the cold weather arrives.


You should ensure the air filters are in good condition because they regulate airflow into the system. Dirty air filters curtail airflow in your home, leading to inadequate heating and fuel wastage. It’s advisable to change 1” filters  every month and 5” filters every 12 months, unless you notice them dirty before then. Some need to be changed every 6-8 months so they don’t become inefficient. This depends on children, pets, and the location of your home in proximity to dirt roads and or fields. However, if your system uses an electrostatic filter, you should wipe it clean to prolong its life. If you’re not sure of the type of filter, check the manufacturer’s manual for further instructions on when to clean or replace it.


Switch on the thermostat and check if it is working. Then switch it off and remove the cover to ascertain that all the connections are working properly. Check batteries. Clean the electrical and mechanical components because dirt may be concealing broken parts. Make sure that the heat pump, blower, and fan are in good condition before restoring the cover.

Heat Exchanger

Heat exchangers accumulate scale deposits and soot over the years leading to significant heat losses. Cleaning them improves heat transfer and reduces the risk of overheating. The cleaners will also check for cracks that can cause gas poisoning. Your heat exchange system should be cleaned and vacuumed by a Heating and Air Company in Yankton every year.


Make a point of cleaning the burners of your furnace. They often accumulate dust during the summer due to the dry conditions. Wipe them clean and watch out for rust and dislocated parts that need alignment by a professional.

Heating Vents

Heating vents can get covered with household items such as clothes during the warm months. That’s why it is important to check if furniture or any other objects are blocking them. Blocked vents do not spread heat uniformly and can be a fire hazard.

Blower Motor

The blower motor rotates the fan that enhances air movement in the furnace. You should ensure that the motor is in good condition because it has several movable parts. Check out for odd noises because they are an indication that the motor or the wheel has malfunctioned. Some of the problems may be due to faulty electric circuits, which can be repaired by qualified HVAC professionals.

Exhaust Flue

If you are using a gas furnace, check if the exhaust flue is blocked and clean it. The blockage can be caused by soot, dust, or bird nesting. Cleaning it ensures proper expulsion of exhaust gases, including toxic fumes of sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. Such gases may pose a health hazard to your family if they accumulate in the air.


During the hot months, dirt accumulates in the chimney. It is also a favorite sheltering spot for bats, birds, and rodents. Thoroughly clean the chimney, including the vents that connect to the furnace. Make sure you remove the soot and all other materials that may be blocking the vents.

Safety Monitors

After ensuring that the heating system is working, inspect the safety monitors. Check if their batteries are in good condition and replace those that are damaged. Safety monitors are essential for detecting fire and gas poisoning.

Get Help from a Heating and Air Company in Yankton!

Even though you can accomplish some of the tasks on your own, it’s always ideal to lean on professionals for more technical jobs. To get your heater ready for winter, contact our heating and air company today. We proudly serve those in Yankton, SD and the surrounding communities, including Vermillion. 

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