In many parts of the country, fall’s arrival means changing leaves, comforting meals, and cooler temperatures. More than likely, you’ll need to turn on your home heating system within the coming weeks. But before you turn on the furnace, there are a few home heating maintenance tasks you need to perform. That way, you’ll be able to ensure your system is working the way it should and will have time to make any necessary heating repairs before the cold really sets in. Here’s a little list of five tips you should keep in mind during your preparations.
- Replace the filters
Throughout the course of a year, your air filters can easily become clogged with dust and debris. When this happens, airflow becomes much more limited and your HVAC system has to work much harder to make your home feel comfortable. All that extra work translates into higher heating bills and more wear and tear on your system. Changing your air filters once a month or as needed will reduce the need for heating services down the line, keep bills lower, and ensure the air you breathe is much cleaner and safer all around.
- Clear the chimney
Not all home heating maintenance has to deal directly with your furnace or air ducts. If you have a working chimney, you should take the time to remove any branches, leaves, or other debris and inspect for animal activity. Whether or not you plan to have a fire roaring in the fireplace this season, it’s still a good idea to have the chimney inspected by a professional.
- Check the thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, you’re already one step ahead of the game. These kinds of thermostats can keep your home more comfortable and save you money at the same time. You can program temperatures to be toasty by the time you get home without heating your house unnecessarily when you aren’t there. Now that outside temperatures are changing, your thermostat temperatures will likely need to as well. Make sure you program your unit so that temperatures decrease at night or when the kids are at school. Keep these temperatures steady to avoid too much “up-and-down,” as this can end up costing you more.
- Seal the leaks
You may not have noticed drafty areas of your home over the summer, but when temperatures drop, these leaks become more obvious. That said, there may be areas prone to heat loss that are hard to notice. Walk by doors and windows and check for clear signs of cold air. If you find any spots, have them sealed by a professional. You may also want to have the attic inspected and make sure your insulation is up to par. These drafty spots can result in higher energy bills and cold rooms, neither of which are ideal.
- Schedule home heating maintenance
One of the most important tasks you’ll need to complete this season is scheduling your heating maintenance. Even if you believe your system is working just fine, there may be underlying problems you miss until it’s necessary to have a component repaired or replaced. Call your HVAC company early on in the season to secure your appointment and get the entire system checked. If your technician determines your system needs further work, you’ll have time to take care of it prior to winter’s arrival.
This fall, don’t put off or forget to perform these basic heating maintenance tasks. If you do, you might experience higher bills, system breakdown, or an uncomfortable house.