When colder weather moves into an area, many people retreat indoors. They rely on their heating system to keep them warm and cozy throughout the colder months of the year.
Unfortunately, if a homeowner does not engage in regular heater maintenance, they may find the system is not up to the task of keeping the home warm and comfortable. If this happens, it may be time to contact the professionals for heater repair. While this is necessary, there are some steps a person can take to prepare the system for winter and to avoid more serious problems or complete breakdowns.
Check the Filter
If the heating system’s filter is dirty, it will reduce the system’s airflow to work efficiently. Be sure to check the filters at least once per month and replace them around every 90 days (or sooner). If someone does not check the filters often enough, they may experience serious efficiency problems with the system and must invest in expensive furnace repair.
During the next maintenance service, ask the technician if a different filter may be a better option for the home. If the filter must be replaced between annual cleanings, make sure to have plenty of filters on-hand to do this. Keeping the filter clean is an important part of heating system maintenance.
Clean the Humidifier
Whole house humidifiers are a crucial part of the home’s heating system during the dry winter months. Ensuring adequate humidity is present inside the home means it is possible to turn the heat down a few degrees and save money on heating costs. Before things get cold outside, it is good to clean the humidifier and change the evaporator pad to make sure it is operating efficiently while keeping indoor air quality healthy.
Keep the Area Around the Furnace Clean
Remove any items that are stored close to the boiler or furnace. This is especially important for items that may catch on fire. Be sure to move items that are blocking the vents or the duct registers, too. Ensuring proper airflow is essential to ensure the home stays at a comfortable temperature and that the heating equipment does not work harder than it has to. Also, when someone declutters, it makes them feel better and more comfortable in their home.
Bleed the Radiator Valves
If a home has a hot-water radiator installed, make sure to bleed the valves. This allows any trapped air to escape, which means the heating system will operate more effectively and efficiently. This can be done by opening the valves a little and then closing them if water starts to leak through them.
Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Winter means that homeowners will close their doors and windows and keep the cold air out for a few months. Now is the time to make sure that the home remains free of carbon monoxide and that the smoke alarm is functioning properly just in case a fire occurs. No matter the type of heating system used, this should not be ignored or overlooked.
Shut the AC System Down
When winter rolls around, it is time to say goodbye to the air conditioning system – for a few months, at least. By shutting down the air conditioning system – the right way – it is possible to protect the system and extend its lifespan. It will also help to protect the components from the elements, which can be harsh during the winter months.
Flush the Hot Water Tank
By flushing the hot water heater tank, it is possible to remove any built-up sediment. It also allows a homeowner to check the pressure relief valve and ensure it is working properly. When a person does these things, it will reduce the likelihood of the hot water unit failing and keep energy costs low.
Check for the Signs of Leaks
Take a close look around the air ducts in the home. Are there any loose joints, leaks, or holes? If so, now is the time to contact Accurate to make repairs to the ducts right away. The leaks can be fixed easily, in most cases, but if they are allowed to go on, untreated, the problem may get worse and cost even more to repair in the future.
Switch the Direction of the Fan
While this tip is not directly related to the heating system in a home, it is smart to help reduce heating bills. By switching the ceiling fans to a clockwise position, they will blow warmed air to the floor instead of pulling it away from the floor. This simple change in fan operation can help a homeowner save a lot of money during the year’s cold months.
Clean and Lubricate the Blower Motor
Check the owner’s manual to find out if the motor requires lubrication. If so, be sure to turn the power off and open the cover. Clean the caps that are over the bearings. Once clean, remove the caps and lubricate all the bearings present. If a homeowner is unsure how to do this, or if it is necessary, they can engage the professionals’ services.
Test the Igniter Switch
For older systems, it may be necessary to have the pilot light relit. Newer units will have an electronic ignitor. If the ignitor does not work, use the reset button. If this still does not fix the issue, take a look at the breaker. If this is not the problem, then call the professionals for a full inspection.
Stay Warm and Cozy This Winter
A home’s heating system has many moving parts and is considered a complex home system. By making sure it is ready to run and operate this winter, a homeowner can feel confident they will remain warm and cozy. Keep the tips and information here in mind to see why professional heating system maintenance and inspections by a company like Accurate Electric Plumbing Heating & Air, is such a good investment throughout the year. Being informed is the best way to understand why regular maintenance and preparation for winter is necessary for a heating system.