You’ve heard the phrase before, ‘Winter is Coming.’ Now that it’s actually here, are you satisfied with your preparations? Sure living in Southern California has its advantages. We don’t have to deal with snow in Los Angeles County and Orange County, the air doesn’t get below freezing, and you don’t need to call a plow to get your car out of the driveway. Still, you need to keep up with your furnace maintenance and make sure your furnace service is up-to-date.
While the SoCal winter temperatures don’t usually dip lower than the high 40s, it can still feel like there’s a sheet of snow outside in the morning. If you add the rain into that, winter can still find a way into your home whether you like it or not. However, your heating system can stop the misery but you have to make sure it is up to the task. You won’t have to fight-off ice zombies, but you definitely will want to make sure you and your kids don’t have to battle colds and sinus infections from not having heat.
TYPE OF SYSTEM
In order to make sure your heating system will get you through the winter the first thing may seem obvious, but you should know what type of system your home uses.
Do you have a furnace or a heat pump?
A gas-powered furnace will heat your home powered by burning fuel. A heat pump can either cool or heat your home using electricity. A furnace creates warm air by using the process called combustion, which is created when the burning gas generates heat controlled by a thermostat. The heat is sent through your ductwork over a heat exchanger and circulates throughout your home.
A heat pump generates heat by taking outdoor air and reversing the refrigeration process using a refrigerant. A refrigerant absorbs heat energy from the outdoors and uses a coil to heat the air as it circulates it into your home.
Making sure your furnace or heat pump is stable and running efficiently should be on your to-do list for early fall. If you waited until the first real cold day of winter and turned on your heating system you may shock your system or experience a breakdown if the system is old or you haven’t had furnace service in a long time.
Furnace maintenance is extremely important for the proper functioning of your heating system. Nobody really wants to entertain Winter as a house guest longer than they have to, but here are a few things you can do to make sure your system is ready:
While you should never obstruct the flow of air for your heat pump, you may want to use a specific cover designed by the manufacturer to protect it from the elements outside. Windbreaks can help but remember in order for it to work properly the air needs to be able to circulate so don’t build a shelter to encase it.
Make sure your air filters are clean and the empty spaces between the coils don’t have dust or debris build-up. Cleanliness is a big deal for a heat pump and is part of the preventative maintenance process. When you hire Accurate for furnace service and furnace maintenance, Accurate will detail your Heat pump making sure it is spotless so the air can flow efficiently.
Make sure you know your heat pump thermostat settings and that it’s set for the right time of year. Don’t set your Heat Pump to emergency heat just because it’s really chilly outside. You’re only supposed to use that setting if your Heat Pump is broken.
Make sure your heat exchanger is clean. Like the Heat Pump, cleanliness is important so all the parts don’t have to deal with any unneeded nuisances of debris or dust. You can also make sure to lubricate the blower motor. The heat has to get pushed out into your home and it won’t just dance around magically like sugarplums and fairies during the holiday season.
Make sure to test your igniter switch and to turn on your thermostat.
You should always check your air filters as well to make sure there are no circulation pathways being blocked.
Lastly, keeping safety in mind, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working. Remember, with a furnace, you will get great heat but you also run the risk of CO2 leaks. As long as you have a fully functional carbon monoxide detector, you and your family will be safe.
In your home, there are other things you can do to increase the reliability of your heating system. Check your insulation upstairs to make sure you don’t have a big hole or any leaks. Heat rises so you want to make sure you don’t have swiss cheese for insulation upstairs.
Winter can be slippery and devious on how it enters your home. Check your windows and entryways around your doors. A few cracks can amount to a lot of lost heat seeping out of your house. Not only do you lose heat but it forces your system to work harder which could eventually mean a possible breakdown. Part of Accurate’s furnace maintenance is ensuring you don’t have leaks in your home.
Also, check your vents and ducts. You are your own air traffic control. Don’t let your air get clogged up with dust, debris, pet dander, or any unwanted clutter so your heating system doesn’t give you the full capacity you deserve. If you haven’t gotten your ducts cleaned in some time we can help. Here are the reasons that you need a clean duct system.
Sure, California winters are not like Alaska, but it’s still winter. We may not get the snow or the amount of precipitation some other regions get, but we still need to take care of ourselves and make sure we’re healthy so we don’t get sick. Live comfortable through the winters by making sure you are up on your furnace service and your furnace maintenance. If you need help, call Accurate. We’ve been servicing LA County and Orange County for decades and we know what kind of company winter can be.