The cool season is approaching fast. If your heating system isn't equipped to handle the weather changes, it can leave you out in the cold this year. Unused furnaces can have built up airborne debris from the previous year, such as dust and dirt particles. If you don't remove the debris before you use your heating appliance, it might not work properly. Here are things you or a professional HVAC contractor can do right now to get your gas furnace ready for the cold season.

Professional: Clean Your Return Air System 

Your furnace depends on a clean air return system to stay in peak condition. During operation, the return air duct or ducts can build up with debris that block air flow to the furnace. To prevent the issues mentioned above from occurring this cold season, have a contractor clean out your air return system.

A contractor will generally need to locate your return air vents before they clean out the system. Most homes feature one large return air vent in the living room or in a place located in the center of the house, such as a main hallway or in a second floor bedroom. If you have multiple floors in your home, you may have more than one return duct and vent. In any case, the vents connect directly to the large return air duct leading to your furnace. 

A contractor can vacuum out the vent ducts to remove built-up debris, or they may use another type of cleaning technique. The process may take some time to complete, depending on how long your return air system lacked service. A contractor will discuss the time and technique they plan to use with you before they begin.

After services, you can do one more thing to improve your furnace's operations this year.

You: Wipe Out the Blower Compartment

If you haven't changed your furnace's air filter in awhile, it's important that you wipe out the air blower compartment. Although the air filter is the first line of defense against debris, some particles can escape it and enter the blower compartment. The compartment can fill up with dust that blocks air circulation through and around the blower fan and motor.

To wipe out the air blower compartment, you'll need to shut off the gas supply and electrical power to the appliance. Next, follow your furnace's owner's manual to open up the blower compartment, which sits near the bottom of the appliance and just behind the air filter. After you uncover the blower compartment, use a damp rag to wipe down the inside of it. Allow the compartment at least 15 minutes to dry out or use a dry towel to save time.

Replace the cover to the blower compartment and return gas and electrical power to the furnace. Your furnace is now ready for the cold season.

If you need help with your return air system or furnace, contact a heating contractor today, such as those found at A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.