It won’t be long before there’s a chill in the air. Another Maine winter is around the corner, and cold temperatures mean your heating system will start working around the clock. You want to get the best performance out of your system, and you also want to make sure it’s running at top efficiency. All of this is accomplished by having your system maintained annually. For a nominal cost, you can save a lot in repairs and wasted fuel, and rest easy knowing your system is in good working condition.
Changing the air filter in your furnace, and changing it regularly, is one of the easiest but most important chores you can do. Air filters trap dirt particles and pollutants in the air, passing through your ductwork. They also contribute considerably to the energy efficiency of your unit. When your filter is dirty, the system has to work harder to move air through, lowering its efficiency.
Be sure to start this heating season with a new air filter. We recommend changing your filter on a monthly basis during the heavy months of the heating season.
Test your thermostat before you need your heat. Do a test run now of your thermostat and zones to make sure everything is working correctly. You don’t want to find out you have an issue when you need the heat on.
Turn your thermostat up and make sure the heat comes on. Let it run a good 15 minutes or a full cycle. Check your registers to make sure heat is coming out everywhere. If your heat doesn’t seem to be working properly – now is the time to call your service company.
Many people move things in front of or crowd heating registers during the warm months when the heat isn’t on. Now that heating season is upon us, blocking the flow of heat from registers and ducts will hamper proper and even heating. When heat doesn’t move efficiently, it forces your system to work harder than it needs to. Remove anything that is in front of, up against, or laying on top of any of your heating system elements so your system can run efficiently and safely.
If you’re letting all your valuable heat go out your doors and windows, it isn’t doing much good. It’s also costing a lot more than necessary. Sealing up any air leaks in your house can save at least 10% on your energy costs. Your home will feel a lot more comfortable, and so will your wallet.
If your heating system vents out a chimney, or you use a fireplace or woodstove for supplemental heat, make sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Obstructions such as bird nests, leaves and other debris can build up in the chimney. These blockages are very dangerous, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards. Take this chore very seriously!
It’s critical that you make sure the combustion gasses of your heating system are safely leaving your living spaces. Install carbon monoxide and fire detectors throughout your home. Every few months, push the “test” buttons to make sure the alarms are working. Replace the batteries every 6 months. People often overlook carbon monoxide risks. It’s known as the “silent killer” because it’s so difficult to detect – often until it’s too late.
Even with all the DIY efforts you can make yourself, it’s important to have your heating system inspected and cleaned every year. A lot of heating system problems can be caught early during this tune up, saving you a lot of headaches and money. You always want to have peace of mind that your heating system is working safely, reliably, and efficiently.