4 Tips To Keep Your Furnace Working All Winter Long

Winter is coming. The leaves have changed colors. The kids have all adjusted to their normal daily school routine. Trick or Treat has concluded. We’ve turned our clocks back. Soon, everything pumpkin spice will be phased out for peppermint mocha and Michael Buble will re-emerge from the cave he resides in for 10 months of the year to usher in the Holiday shopping season.

Hopefully, by now, your central air conditioning has long been shut off and covered. Any window AC units of yours have been removed and stored away in the attic or basement. It’s furnace season. It’s time to crank up that heat. While most of you are already running your furnace, unfortunately, many of you have also skipped the recommended annual furnace tune-up. This is why Top Notch Heating and Cooling – Pittsburgh PA HVAC experts – have put together some quick tips to help ensure your furnace runs optimally all winter long.

Replace Furnace Filters

Regularly replacing the filter in your furnace will prolong the lifespan of the unit. Not only will it keep your furnace running optimally throughout the winter, but it’ll also keep your gas bill down.

Unfortunately, for as simple as it is, many homeowners fail to change their furnace filters as often as they should. This can lead to rising heating bills and contribute to more serious and costly maintenance issues down the road.

So, how often should furnace filters be replaced? The cheaper fiberglass filters, which while cost-efficient, really don’t do a great job of filtering, should be switched out every 30 days. Higher-end pleated filters can last as long as 6 months before they need to be replaced; however, it’s generally recommended they be changed every 90 days. Filter efficiency decreases as more dirt, dust, and allergens from the air are trapped.

Clean the Heat Exchanger Annually

Here’s why you shouldn’t dismissively wave off any mention of annual furnace maintenance. Heat exchangers need to be professionally brushed and vacuumed once a year. Making sure heat exchangers are properly maintained and cleaned annually will prevent expensive complications later. Dirty heat exchangers can contribute to anything from a poorly performing furnace to the need for total equipment replacement.

Dirt, soot, and sediments are only a few contributors to dirty heat exchangers. There can also be a crystallization of salts and minerals, organic fouling from organisms, and chemical fouling as well. Corrosion from water and condensation build up or the use of chemicals must also be cleaned.

In addition to cleaning, heat exchangers also need to be inspected annually. Particularly to look for cracks that could allow dangerous carbon monoxide to leak into a home.

Clean Your Air Ducts

Heat is blown through your air ducts. It’s a good idea to have your air ducts checked every season to make sure there’s no obstruction inhibiting airflow. It’s not uncommon for objects to get inside your ductwork and create a blockage. A professional HVAC technician can thoroughly clean a vent’s exterior and remove any obstructions.

Check Your Thermostat

You may think this is a no-brainer, but we get so many calls every year from homeowners reporting an issue with their furnace who are really experiencing a completely correctable issue with their thermostat.

Replace the batteries in your thermostat when you first turn your furnace on. If it’s time to replace your thermostat, consider a programmable one that lets you set different temperatures throughout the day or even program temperature changes through a smartphone app. Modern thermostats like these are a great way to effectively lower heating costs.


We recommend that homeowners in the Pittsburgh area have their HVAC equipment inspected and maintained twice a year. Once prior to running your AC unit and then again prior to running your furnace. Contact Top Notch Heating and Cooling today for the best HVAC in Pittsburgh. Call 412-381-0598 to schedule your annual Pittsburgh furnace tune-up or if you’re experiencing any problem with your furnace. Or reach out to us at https://topnotchair.com/contact.