Now that the cooler weather is starting to settle in, it’s time to make sure that your home heating system is operating safely and efficiently. The biggest problem that many homeowners face, however, is that they don’t really know where to start when it comes to HVAC repairs and inspections!
With that in mind, here are a few important tips to help guide you through the essentials of heating and furnace operation:
1. The most important thing you can do twice a year — before turning on your air conditioning system in the summer and before turning on your heating system in the winter — is to call up your local HVAC company and ask for a routine maintenance check. HVAC services receive many inspection requests during these times and they’ll know exactly how to conduct a thorough inspection.
2. It’s also important to make sure that your home smoke alarms and your carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. Many HVAC services recommend that smoke alarm batteries be replaced twice a year when Daylight Savings Time begins and when it ends. Carbon monoxide alarms should be checked more frequently (around once a month) because unlike smoke, carbon monoxide is impossible for humans to detect.
3. If you use a wood-burning fireplace or wood-burning stove during the winter, make sure to clean out the chimney and the liner at least twice during the winter season. HVAC services often include professional chimney sweeps who can clean the chimney and inspect the metal flue and damper for proper positioning.
4. If your furnace is around 10 years old, make sure to keep an eye on it this winter even if seems to be operating fine. Furnaces typically have a lifespan of around 10-15 years, depending on the brand and the model, but any furnace older than 10 years should definitely be inspected by a heating contractor.
5. Last but not least, remember that the smallest details can make the biggest differences! Set up a monthly reminder on your calendar to check the filter in your HVAC system, make sure you have a portable generator if the power goes out, and set up a three-foot “child-free, pet-free, plant-free zone” around fireplaces and heaters.
Now we’d like to hear from you — what tips would you recommend to other homeowners when it comes to making your heating system as safe and efficient as possible?