As you prep your haunted décor, save some attention for the most important party guest of all – your furnace!
Your heating system works overtime for Halloween parties. Show it some love so your celebration doesn’t end in a heart-stopping furnace failure! Here are some tips from your friends at Sun:
Cobweb Caution: It’s best to skip using loose cotton décor like stray webs or tufts of fabric. While visually spooky, the light and flowy nature of cotton means it can easily get sucked into floor vents or returns. Once inside your ductwork, the cotton breaks down into small fibers and particles that circulate through your furnace. This builds up grit and debris on the internal components of your system, coating things like the blower motor, heat exchanger, and burner. Over time, this can reduce your furnace’s airflow and performance.
Instead of cotton, choose durable cobweb materials like tissue or acrylic webbing. These stay intact rather than shedding fragments if they accidentally fall near vents. Your furnace will thank you!
Smoke Snafu: Fog machines seem like a fun and festive way to create an eerie vibe. However, most fog juice contains mineral oil as a base ingredient. When vaporized, the oil particles in fog machines’ output can easily travel through vents to coat your furnace’s internal ducts and components. This leaves a nasty oily film that is tough to remove. It attracts debris buildup and can impact furnace functionality over time.
Consider safer alternatives like dry ice fog, which dissipates without leaving residue. Or simply position fog machines far from vents to limit furnace exposure.
Drafty Danger: Make sure floor and wall vents inside your home are not obstructed by party decorations or furniture rearrangements. Even small blockages force your furnace to work harder to push out heated air. This can lead to overheating, inefficiency, and a shortened furnace lifespan. Do a quick walk-through before guests arrive to ensure all registers and returns are free of obstructions. Keep a minimum 12″ clearance in all directions. Removing any blockages will allow air to flow easily through the ducts so your furnace doesn’t get overworked keeping your home comfortable.
Filtration Fear: During party prep, replace your furnace air filters at least 1-2 weeks prior to the big event. All the extra dust from decorating, along with traffic from guests, will quickly clog filters right when you need robust airflow most. Putting in new, clean filters ahead of time will keep resistance low and air moving freely through your system. Maintaining strong airflow helps your furnace easily handle the demands of your Halloween bash. Just be sure to swap filters again shortly after the party to get all that added dust out of the system.
Thermostat Tricks: Right before your guests start to arrive, turn down your thermostat by 5 degrees. Once your home is filled with active bodies generating heat, the temperature will climb fast. Pre-cooling the space gives your furnace some cushion so it’s not struggling to lower the temp after it has already risen.
Candy Calamity: In the post-party cleanup, inspect around vents and returns for stray melted chocolate, spilled drinks, or stuck-on gum. Keeping your ducts and furnace interior debris-free avoids potentially costly cleanings down the road!