The cold weather is arriving soon! As you prepare your home and yard for winter – don’t forget to attend to your HVAC systems. Check off these maintenance items this year for a happy and healthy HVAC:
We know – Mainers like to wait as long as possible before turning on the heat. People compete to see who can hold off the longest…BUT there are very good reasons to turn that heat on sooner rather than later. It’s smart to make sure everything is running properly before it’s freezing cold out. If you do have any issues, you have time to schedule a repair if necessary.
Turn your heat on and let it run for 10-15 minutes and test each zone/thermostat to ensure your system is working properly.
Make sure your furnace has a new, clean filter. Clogged filters put more stress on the equipment and can lead to mechanical failures. Clean filters help your heating system run more efficiently, deliver heat better, and also improves your indoor air quality considerably. It’s ideal to change your furnace air filter every month during heavy heating months.
Reversing your ceiling fans to a clockwise rotation in the fall so the warm air that has risen to the ceiling can be gently pushed back down into living areas. This simple effort can cut your heating costs by as much as 10%!
Adequate insulation will help keep your home warm during the cold months, and cooler during the warm weather. winter. If your insulation is insufficient, your heating system will have to work overtime this winter, and that drives up costs. You can see significant savings on heating costs by adding some insulation to your attic, crawlspaces, and other uninsulated areas. Putting pipe insulation around any exposed plumbing pipes in your basement or other unheated areas is a good idea as well.
Air leaks are another major energy waster as they let that expensive heat go right outside! Seal up any air leaks with caulking and install quality weatherstripping around doors and windows. This effort can save as much as 10% on heating costs!
Many people don’t think much about their outdoor spigots, but if you tend to leave your hose attached, and don’t button up this area of your plumbing, you are setting yourself up for trouble.
First and foremost, disconnect your garden hoses, or anything connected directly into your outdoor spigots. When you leave a hose attached, you are trapping water within the faucet plumbing and indoor copper pipes. This water will freeze during the winter, and with no place to escape, will cause a breach in your plumbing somewhere to relieve the pressure.
Hopefully, your outdoor spigot has a dedicated inside shutoff lever. Turn this to closed so water isn’t feeding out to the exterior fixture. Consider installing a frost-proof faucet to protect yourself even more.
With the windows closed, the furnace on, and portable heaters going, now is a great time to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are working properly. Replace the batteries and check the expiration dates – smoke detectors are typically good for 10 years, and CO detectors last for about six years.
If it’s been a few years since your chimney was inspected and cleaned, now is a good time to schedule it. A professional cleaning includes an inspection for soot buildup, obstructions, cracks in the chimney liner, and signs of water damage. A chimney fire can be disastrous, so this maintenance step is important for safety as well as efficiency.
Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected and cleaned by an HVAC professional. If you hear odd sounds, noisy belts, or your heating system is inconsistent or heating poorly, then you should get it done immediately. During an annual inspection, the technician will check all components of your equipment, and make sure your unit is operating safely and efficiently.
Keep your HVAC systems running efficiently and safely by checking off these annual maintenance items!
If you think your heating system needs a repair or an annual cleaning – contact us to schedule a visit from one of our trained technicians!