The weather’s turning colder, and the holiday season is almost upon us. Is your home’s heating system ready for winter? If you’re not sure, we’re here to help! Follow these simple maintenance tips to make sure your heating system is ready to keep your home cozy all winter long.
1. Change the Air Filters
A dirty or clogged air filter can compromise your home’s air quality and make your furnace less efficient. It’s vital to make sure your system has a clean filter, especially going into winter. Most furnace manufacturers recommend changing the filter each month, so fall is the perfect time to stock up so you’re ready to switch out filters as needed during winter.
While you’re replacing the air filter, take the time to tidy up the area around your furnace. Make sure there aren’t any boxes or other items on or near the unit, as these can be fire hazards. Creating a clear space around the furnace makes it easier to access quickly in the event of a malfunction.
2. Winterize the Air Conditioner
Your AC system gets a break during the colder months, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it. A little TLC will help ensure your air conditioner is in peak shape come springtime. Start by locating the ON/OFF switch on the outdoor unit, and turn it OFF. This will prevent your AC from accidentally running during the occasional warm winter day.
Take a little time to check the outdoor portion of your AC unit: remove leaves, twigs, and other debris and pull any weeds growing around the unit. It’s best to create a 2-foot clearance around the unit. If your air conditioner could be damaged by falling branches or icicles, you can cover the top with plywood or an AC cover.
3. Test and Program the Thermostat
It’s best to check your thermostat in the fall and spring, when you are switching between heating and cooling modes. You can test your thermostat by turning up the temperature; the furnace should start up right away.
Now is also the perfect time to set (or modify) the programming on your thermostat to make sure your home is comfortable but avoid running your furnace unnecessarily. If you don’t want to hassle with programming, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These devices connect to a smartphone app that you can use to set the temperature from anywhere. Many models can also use your phone’s location details to automatically switch to “eco mode” when you’re away from home.
4. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure your home’s alarm systems are ready to warn you if your heating system causes an issue. Use the “test” function to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly. It’s also a good time to replace all the batteries and avoid the hassle of waking up at 3:00 a.m. to that obnoxious chirping sound.
It’s vital to ensure that everyone in your household knows what to do if the alarm system goes off. Have a designated escape route and meeting place.
5. Find and Seal Leaks
Even small cracks around your doors and windows can leak air, causing drafts and increasing the load on your heating system. Take a little time to inspect the seals around your doors and windows, and seal any leaks you find with caulk and/or weather stripping.
6. Clean Vents and Ducts
It’s crucial to make sure the warm air from your furnace actually makes it into all areas of your home. Check all the vents and registers to make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, and remove any dust. You may want to consider hiring a professional to clean your air ducts, which can improve indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of your heating system.
7. Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
One of the best things you can do for your home’s heating system is to schedule a maintenance checkup with a professional. Our HVAC technicians will inspect your system to find and fix any minor issues before they can become major problems.
We can also discuss the available options if you’re thinking of upgrading your furnace. Replacing an old heating system with a newer model can lower your energy bills and ensure that your home will be comfortable for years to come.
Trust Your Home’s HVAC System to Johns Plumbing
Fall is the perfect time to get your home’s heating system in top shape for winter. Simple preventative maintenance tasks, such as cleaning vents, changing the air filter, and sealing leaks can keep your furnace running well and lower the risk of a malfunction.
At John Plumbing, we have been offering HVAC services to homeowners in the Triad area for nearly 50 years. Our expert technicians can check your heating system for issues and make sure it’s ready to work well all winter long. We can also provide information on upgrading to an energy-efficient furnace. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office directly at 336-294-2301.