It may still technically be fall, but when the sun goes down each day it just gets colder and colder. We’d be surprised if the majority (if not all) of homeowners out there haven’t already switched over to the heat setting on their thermostats. It is November, after all!
But is your heating system up to snuff? Proper heating maintenance is absolutely necessary in order for it to keep running in tip-top shape. The worst thing you want is for your heating system to suddenly malfunction in the middle of winter!
While we recommend you let a professional like us come in and handle major heating maintenance, there are some things you can do before each winter to ensure the season is comfortable for you and your family.
1. Replace air filters
This should happen at the beginning of every heating season and should be checked monthly throughout the winter (just make sure your unit is off before checking!). A dirty filter will make equipment work harder, resulting in energy waste and internal damage. Consider using a vacuum to remove dirt and dust from blower compartments, too.
2. Remove clutter from furnace
Items near your furnace can be a fire hazard, while obstructing combustion air supply and carbon monoxide gas combustion.
3. Listen and smell!
A good idea is to set your thermostat to heat and increase the temperature higher than usual. Start to listen for unfamiliar noises and pay attention to unusual odors. Unfamiliar noises and odors can indicate that your unit needs to be looked at – there may be something wrong!
4. Look for the signs
Many times there are visual cues of a malfunctioning heater. Examples include unusual amounts of moisture on windows inside your home, visibly burnt components, or dirt and rust accumulations on the vent pipe or in the unit itself.
Tips for saving green
Of course, it never hurts to save cash when it comes to heating. Don’t forget to:
- Cover windows that go unused during the winter. Think patio and basement doors and spare room windows.
- Turn down the heat when no one is home, around 60-65 degrees does the trick.
- When you’re finished with the oven, leave the oven door open a crack to get some extra heat (after turning it off, of course).
- Seal air leaks with caulk or silicone to fill cracks in doors and windows. Those small cracks can add up!