Winter is in full swing, and the temperatures keep dropping – meaning you’re likely relying on your heating system more than usual. Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is designed to keep your family comfortable and safe, no matter the weather. But is your HVAC system performing at its optimal efficiency?
With snowstorms and freezing temperatures around every corner, there’s no better time to evaluate your home heating equipment. The last thing you want is to put off maintenance and repairs until you wake up in the middle of a chilly night with no heat.
Ready to get started? Here’s how to make sure your HVAC system is working efficiently this winter:
1. Have Your Heating System Tuned Up Annually
ALL heating systems need routine maintenance to operate safely and at peak efficiency. Most companies include your systems’ annual tune up as part of their maintenance/service contract, and will provide an assessment of any recommended repairs. Tune-ups can be done at any time of the year, as long as they are completed annually. One common cause of “no heat” calls for technicians is simply a clogged oil filter or nozzle. These types of calls can be expensive, especially when they occur at night or on the weekend.
One of the other important benefits of annual maintenance is that a good technician will also spot other (potential) problem areas, check safety controls, and help you to assess the cost/benefit of doing proactive repairs.
2. Clear the Area Around the Furnaces and Vents
Whether you’ve scheduled routine heating system maintenance or are dealing with an emergency, it’s essential to ensure the areas around your furnace, vents, and oil tank are clear. A breakdown in the heating system during subzero temperatures means that access to the furnace needs immediate attention. There will be no time to clean, and clutter around the area could even be a safety or fire hazard.
By keeping the space around the furnace free of boxes and other items, you or a professional HVAC technician will be able to access the equipment with ease. You should also clear anything that covers your vents, as this will improve the airflow throughout your house, ensuring even heating in every room.
3. Test Your Thermostats
Another simple thing you – or a professional – can do to improve your HVAC system’s performance this winter is testing your thermostats. Take some time to check each thermostat in your home and make sure that they are accurately heating your house to the temperature you set them to. If they aren’t working properly, your heating system could be over or underperforming. It’s often beneficial to have an HVAC technician assess your thermostats so that they can provide an immediate solution. Many thermostats also run on batteries, so it is important to change the batteries on a regular basis.
4. Change Your Air Filters
Many people stay inside more during the winter months, which means that extra attention should be given to air quality. Air filters collect dust, dirt, pet dander, and even dangerous microorganisms. Of course, when your filters are clogged and dirty, they won’t work as well. Therefore, they should be changed at least every six months, and possibly more often, depending on the number of people and pets in the house.
5. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While you should test your carbon monoxide detectors periodically throughout the year, this is especially important in the winter months when people are inside the house more often. Carbon monoxide can be deadly; therefore, you should make it a habit to assess your detectors regularly. At the very least, you should aim to replace all batteries before the winter months begin – but if you haven’t, now is still a good time to do it!
6. Schedule a Professional Heating System Inspection
One of the best ways to ensure your heating system is performing at peak condition? Scheduling an HVAC inspection from a professional technician. A professional can identify any issues with your equipment before they turn into major breakdowns. Plus, they can provide tips to maximize your heating this winter.
Taking action now will save you money later and make sure you’re not surprised by a system outage on a chilly night. Contact Cromwell Energy today to schedule your winter heating inspection!