If you would like to keep your heating system running efficiently this winter, make sure to do the following:
1.) If you aren’t already on an automatic maintenance program, call ASAP to schedule an annual cleaning.
2.) Remove flammable items that may have been stored next to the furnace or boiler during the summer months, for example: weed whackers, lawn mowers & gas cans.
3.) Change/clean your air filter regularly, especially during heavy use seasons. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool resulting in a waste of energy. A clean filter will keep dirt and dust out of your system, will help it to run efficiently and reduce the need for expensive repairs.
4.) Make sure that your thermostat programming reflects your family’s current schedule. This will help you reduce energy costs. Make sure to adjust the clock on a programmable thermostat after the time change or your program will be off by an hour.
5.) Check your chimney to make sure there are no cracks or loose bricks.
6.) Remove window AC units, and cover outside AC units to minimize damage from winter weather and debris.
7.) Install a carbon monoxide detector next to your sleeping area.
Some Things to Avoid….
DON’T wait for the first cold night to turn on your heating system for the first time. Test your heater for a few minutes while it’s still warm out (like in early September), to ensure that it will work well on the first cold day.
DON’T try to turn on the heat while the thermostat is still set in AC mode. Just setting the dial above room temperature won’t activate the heat if the system is still in AC mode.
DON’T cover outside AC units with plastic. Plastic traps moisture and can lead to rust and deterioration. Instead, use a cover specifically designed for outdoor AC units.
DON’T assume that because you have a carbon monoxide detector, you don’t need to schedule a furnace inspection. A carbon monoxide detector should be a second line of defense, not a substitute for annual service.
DON’T turn off the heat when it’s cold out, even if you are leaving your house for several days. Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees so that your house stays warm enough to keep your pipes from freezing.