Once the daylight hours grow shorter and the leaves start to fall from the trees, the temperatures that accompany the winter months aren’t far behind. Homeowners who ensure their heating system is in shape to meet its winter workload will do a lot to secure the comfort and safety of their families. The following checklist provides a guide for homeowners concerned with ensuring their heating system is in top shape for the winter.
1. Replace Filter
Your furnace’s filter collects dirt and debris and keeps it from passing throughout your unit and circulating throughout your air. A new furnace filter represents an easy, cost-effect way to support proper heating system function. This single action can result in double-digit savings on the amount of money you pay monthly to heat your home. Homeowners can start with new filters at the start of each cold season. You can maintain your system’s efficiency by checking filters monthly. Homeowners that don’t want to bother with the monthly cleaning can choose to purchase new filters multiple times during the winter months.
2. Seal Air Leaks
Once you take steps to ensure the air flows freely throughout your HVAC system, you’ll want to seal any leak that might allow the warm air to escape from your home. Air leaks cause your system to work harder to reach the level of warmth you desire. These leaks can also become the cause of several more severe HVAC system problems.
Homeowners can start the sealing process with the leaks that commonly occur around the doors and windows of their homes. The use of caulking or weatherstripping is usually enough to get the job done.
Any gaps between the baseboards and flooring of the home present another prime opportunity for gas to escape. Latex caulking is ideal for sealing these leaks. Other places that can benefit from sealant include the areas around outlets and exhaust fans. One final place to check for any gaps and holes that may exist is the system’s ductwork.
3. Check Vents
The warm air generated by your HVAC system won’t make it to the spaces within your home where it’s needed if there’s a problem with your vents. Make sure all the vents in your home are both open and unobstructed before the heating system is called into duty.
You should check to make sure any furniture positioned near a vent isn’t interfering with the flow of air from the heating system. Don’t hesitate to find another place in the room for any furniture that’s causing a problem. You should also make sure no toys, plants, or other objects have become an obstruction.
4. Clean Air Ducts
Air ducts that are damaged or dirty can increase heating bills as well as add to the performance stress your HVAC system must already endure. You should check your air ducts periodically to make sure you’re conscious of any punctures, dents, or parts that become disconnected as soon as possible.
Regular cleaning of the ducts in your heating system will support a healthy living environment within our home. The health benefits come from improving the quality of air available for you and your family to breathe.
If you choose to clean the heating system ducts yourself, you’ll need several tools to complete the job:
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Paper towels or cleaning cloth
- Furnace filter
5. Set Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature inside your home at all times, whether you’re inside the house or not. The thermostat accomplishes this feat by allowing you to deliver preset instructions to your heating system. The system will then make the temperature adjustments at the designated times.
A programmable thermostat allows the system to work only when necessary and for the amount of time you determine. The control you exert over the process will decrease the amount of unnecessary work the HVAC system performs. This benefit will increase the lifespan of your system and help lower your monthly energy bills.
6. Adjust Ceiling Fans
If ceiling fans are used in your home for their cooling ability in the summer months, you may be surprised to learn the same fans may be able to support the efforts of your heating system once the weather turns cold. Your ceiling fans move in a counterclockwise direction to cool your home. When you reverse the movement of a ceiling fan, you’ll force the warm air that rises and settles close to the ceiling down into the room.
7. Clean Coils
Both the condenser coil and evaporator coil in your HVAC system are likely to collect dirt and grass clippings from summer mowings. More debris can accumulate in the system coils after the summer months due to falling leaves by nearby trees.
The dirt and debris that accumulate on or near the coils restrict the air that flows through the system. Regular cleaning and debris removal will support proper airflow.
8. Clean Outside Condenser Unit
The portion of your HVAC system located outdoors is commonly referred to as the condenser unit. It’s common for dirt, grass, leaves, and other debris to accumulate around these units during the spring and summer months.
The fan in the condenser is responsible for blowing the air over the coils that become the heat energy supplied to your home. The debris that accumulates around the condenser can hinder airflow and prevent your heating system from working at optimal levels.
9. Schedule a Heating System Tune-Up
The beginning of fall is the perfect time to invite an experienced HVAC technician into your home to complete a tune-up of your system. This tune-up will ensure your system is prepared for the winter workload and save you from the expensive repairs necessary if your system breaks down once the cold weather arrives.
A heating tune-up will also uncover and repair situations with an HVAC system that could develop into health or safety risks for your family. Examples of these risks include cracks that allow gas to enter the home, carbon monoxide leak, or electrical problems.
When you schedule a fall furnace tune-up, you can expect the technician who performs the tune-up to complete many, if not all, of the heating system preparations mentioned above.
Top-Notch Furnace Maintenance
Buckeye Heating & Cooling is one of the largest residential HVAC service providers in the Worthington area. Our company has built a reputation for providing the highest quality service possible to each customer who invites us into their home. We stand by all work we perform for customers with a 30-day warranty. This warranty allows our customers to receive additional service for free if our team needs to return to their homes within 30 days to address the same problem. We also extend financing options to customers who meet our credit requirements.