This time of year, we all start buttoning up our houses and yards for winter. As you work on your fall maintenance chores, don’t forget your HVAC systems. Regular care of your plumbing and heating keeps these important systems running efficiently.
The air filters for your heating system fill with dirt and debris over time (that’s what they are for, after all!). When they become clogged up, airflow and efficiency are restricted. When this happens, the unit must work harder to produce heat. Regularly replacing air filters will save money on energy costs and improve your indoor air quality.
If you aren’t sure how to replace your air filters, your heating technician can show you how during your annual inspection appointment.
All sorts of dust, pet hair, and other debris flies around our houses as we go about daily activities, clogging up heating registers and vents. This means heat isn’t getting into your living space as easily as you would want it to, and deteriorates your indoor air quality. Be sure to wipe down your heating vents and registers as part of your fall cleaning routine.
As winter approaches, switch the direction of your ceiling fan blades so that they spin clockwise so the warm air that rises up to the ceiling is gently pushed back down into your living space.
Now is a perfect time to get a programmable thermostat is you still don’t have one. When you program your thermostat to a set temperature for 8 hours a day, you can save up to 10% on your heating bills over the course of a year. Turning it way back to freezing, then cranking it up when you get home actually wastes more energy than it saves.
While this item may not seem like it belongs in a HVAC list, your heating system is a big chunk of your energy bill. Having a home with air leaks around windows and doors is like leaving your coat unbuttoned in January. Air leaks let cold air into your warm home, and sealing up a drafty house can save up to 20% on your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Installing weatherstripping around windows and doors is easily the most cost-effective way to impact your heating costs. Weatherstripping can deteriorate over time, so if you already have some installed, it’s important to inspect it periodically.
If you think you have some issues with your weatherstripping, try closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily back and forth, your weatherstripping isn’t properly sealing the opening. Another technique is to close a door or window and hold a lighted candle or incense near the frame. If the flame flickers or the incense smoke dances about, you have an air leak.
Even the tiniest plumbing leak wastes gallons of water over time, and can cause serious (and expensive) water damage to your home. Check all you plumbing fixtures, faucets, and connections for any leaks. Check toilets for any leaks in the bowl and tank. Fixing leaks early can save you from a big repair in the future.
When a water heater goes, it can be disastrous! A water heater can dump hundreds of gallons into your home very quickly! If your tank water heater is more than 10 years old, it’s time to plan for a replacement. Also make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees for efficiency. Move any items around the water heater away from the unit for fire safety.
Even if you do great maintenance on your own, your heating system should be inspected by a professional every year. Scheduling your cleaning in the fall, before the heating season really cranks up, will help keep it running well and avoid the winter rush.
At 207 Plumbing & Heating, we provide professional heating system inspection and cleaning to ensure you and your family are safe and comfortable this winter. Contact us today to schedule your annual appointment.