As warm summer nights give way to cool, crisp morning and the smell of falling leaves, it is time to face the facts. Like it or not, winter is coming. But before you break out the sweaters and wool socks, consider adding these things to your “to do” list before ever turning on your heating system this year.
1. Replace the Filters
As easy as it is to replace your furnace filters, chances are you are not doing it often enough. Air filters not only trap dust, dirt, and allergens, keeping them out of the air circulating in your home, they allow your furnace to function more efficiently. Many filters are good for as many as 90 days, while others should be changed once a month. Even if you are a faithful filter changer, if you haven’t used your furnace in a while, it is likely time to change them out.
2. Make Sure the Vents are Open and Clear
This may seem like common sense, but many homes have furniture blocking air vents or close vents in unused rooms to save money. In reality, closing vents obstruct clean air flow to areas of the house and may even damage the heating system. Reduced air flow can lead to excess moisture and mold in the system, leaks in air ducts and in the worst cases cracks in the heat exchanger which can cause carbon monoxide leaks. Taking a few minutes to walk through your home and make sure there are no pieces of furniture blocking vents or air returns while opening any and all heating vents allow air to flow as it should throughout your entire home.
3. Add Insulation and Reduce Drafts
While it does not have anything to do with the actual furnace, adding insulation to your attic and going draft hunting can keep your furnace heating your home more efficiently this winter. If the insulation in your attic is old, flat or insufficient, you will lose heat through the ceiling of your home and out through the roof. Likewise, cracks around doors and windows will let all of the warm, cozy air your furnace is working hard to provide slip away. Energy efficiency rebates and tax credits make adding sufficient insulation into your attic affordable while replacing weather stripping around your doors and windows more than pays for itself in one winter’s energy savings.
4. Have Your System Professionally Serviced
The ideal time to have your furnace serviced is long before the temperature drops. Preventative maintenance can add years to the life of an HVAC system. A professional technician will thoroughly clean and inspect your furnace and make recommendations for any necessary repairs or system upgrades. Having your system professionally serviced may seem like an added expense, but it can often prevent costly mid-winter, emergency repairs.
For more information on simple things, you can do to get ready for winter or to schedule HVAC system maintenance. Contact Farnen and Dermer today.