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Start Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

Winter in the D.C. area can bring cold and unpredictable weather. Is your furnace prepared to keep you warm this year? Fall is a great time to tune-up your natural gas furnace, so it can get you through the winter and keep your home warm and toasty. Preventative maintenance on your furnace helps identify and fix problems, avoiding issues that could leave you in the cold. Regular maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your furnace.

Here are 5 ways you can prepare your furnace this fall:

  1. Replace Air Filters: A dirty filter makes your furnace work harder, which will wear your heating system down faster over time. Air filters also capture dust, allergens and other contaminants that can negatively affect the air quality in your home. Filters should be changed every 1-3 months. Check your air filter size and type before making a purchase. You could damage your system if the replacement filter does not fit properly.
  2. Vet your Vents: Vents accumulate dirt and debris over time, clogging openings and causing heating issues. Clean your vents with a wet cloth and remove any items stuck in the vents.
  3. Schedule your Annual Furnace Exam: Have a trained professional perform a check-up on your furnace once a year. As part of maintenance check-ups, key components are cleaned and tested to make sure that they work properly. Schedule your furnace check-up before it starts getting cold, so you have time to make any necessary repairs or replacements. Looking for a qualified contractor? Contractors participating in the Washington Gas EmPOWER Contractor Network are ready to help you. They can also connect you with Washington Gas rebates for new, high-efficiency natural gas heating equipment.
  4. Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Model: A furnace’s age impacts its effectiveness. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years. You may want to consider or start planning for a replacement if your furnace is over 15 years old. An annual furnace check-up can help you identify when you need a new furnace. Today’s high-efficiency natural gas furnaces operate at up to 98% efficiency, far better than older models. Fall is a slower season for HVAC contractors, which means it’ll be easier to schedule a replacement now. Maryland Washington Gas customers can qualify for a rebate of up to $400 on select high-efficiency models.
  5. Practice Safety First: Avoid a potential fire hazard by removing clutter around your furnace. While you’re at it, make sure furniture and curtains are not blocking the vent, so your home can be heated more evenly. Test your carbon monoxide detector and replace the batteries if necessary.

Follow these tips to help you and your family stay ahead of winter. Save even more with high-efficiency rebates from Washington Gas. Through the Washington Gas Maryland Existing Home Program, Maryland customers can take advantage of natural gas equipment rebates. To qualify, eligible equipment must be purchased and installed by a participating contractor in the Washington Gas EmPOWER Contractor Network.

Learn more about the Maryland Washington Gas residential rebate program here

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