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7 Hot Heating Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Before the winter cold sets in, ideally in advance of that first hard snow, it’s important to make sure that that your furnace is operating safely and effectively. And your wallet will surely thank you for taking these dollar-saving energy efficiency-increasing measures.
- Flip your thermostat: Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think to forget this simple task. The fall weather fluctuates between scorching and chilly on a daily basis, you get caught up in end-of-year festivities, and before you know it, you are still cooling when you should be heating. While you are at it, make sure that your thermostat is still functioning correctly. When you turn it on, listen and make sure the system starts running immediately. And it should go without saying to test the system well in advance of needing heat regularly.
- Change your filters: Replacing your filters is something that should be performed seasonally, at a minimum, if not monthly. It’s a quick and easy task that can go a long way in preserving the life of your HVAC system. Failure to do so can result in a clogged filter, which reduces airflow so that your system has to work harder (thus increasing your utility bill) and decreases air quality.
- Clean the chimney: If you use your fireplace during the winter season, inspecting your chimney is an absolute must. If there is an obstruction or buildup of soot, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly. And don’t forget, gas fireplaces need inspected as well.
- Check the cracks: Cold drafts coming in from doors and windows mean heat is also leaking out. In fact, industry estimates show that approximately 10% of a home’s heat loss occurs in these areas. Consider easy upgrades to conserve energy, such as weather stripping, caulking, and even heavy drapes.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors: Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas that is impossible to detect on your own. For your family’s safety, it is absolutely imperative to test your detectors and make sure they are working properly.
- Clear the area around your furnace: Don’t turn your furnace area into a storage area! Remove objects from around the furnace and on top of or in front of air vents, especially those that are flammable. And certainly never store items such as lawn mowers, gas-powered tools, and paints nearby!
- Get a tune-up! An annual tune-up on your furnace will ensure your system is in perfect working condition and operating at peak performance. Our qualified technicians will check and clean burners, check all safety controls, check all venting and terminations, check for loose or frayed wires, look for leaks or deterioration, and more! Schedule an appointment today!And remember: if you aren’t familiar with how your heating system works or are unsure, always contact a professional.