It’s just about that time of year again, when heaters and furnaces are about to be put to the test. Especially during those colder evenings, you want to be sure your HVAC system can handle the task at hand: keeping your home warm and comfortable. This is when furnace maintenance really does come into play. Do you require a furnace tune-up? Have your filters been changed lately? How about your thermostat, should that be upgraded? In this article, we will examine several key things you can do right now in order to prepare your central heating system for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
- Check/Change Your Air Filters. This is a very simple step and yet so many homeowners fail to perform this bit of central heating maintenance. You should ideally be checking that filter every month. If you notice that it is particularly dirty, then change it. Ensuring that you do not let debris build up on the filter prior to changing it helps with the longevity of your furnace. Not to mention, your energy bill may actually go down when a new air filter is installed. It’s common sense really…your HVAC unit is not having to work as hard with a clean filter in place and therefore less energy is expended.
- Dust/Vacuum Your Central Heating System. Beyond just the filter, dust and other forms of dirt, pet hair and debris can accumulate within the unit itself. This hampers how effective your furnace will be. You can use a cloth or brush to loosen some of the more stubborn debris. A handheld vacuum is also a good tool for removing particles form inside of your furnace. You do want to be cautious not to disrupt and/or damage any of the mechanical or electrical components. This is why homeowners often hire HVAC technicians to handle cleaning their units.
- Free Up the Area Around Your Furnace. Hand in hand with keeping the unit clean is ensuring there is not a ton of clutter or random objects around your furnace. From a safety perspective as well, this becomes important. So take some time to ensure that you remove any boxes for example, among other items, that might be too close to your heating system.
- Check on the Drainage Tube. Many furnaces will have a drainage tube that empties into a drainage pain or some other form of outlet. If this tube gets clogged, it could cause issues with how the central heating system operates. In fact, depending on how clogged, it could potentially cause the entire system to shut down. Making sure that this tube is clear is an important part of central heating maintenance.
- Test Your Furnace. You don’t want to wait until it is finally freezing outside to turn your furnace on only to discover that lo and behold, it isn’t functioning properly. Checking it now before the weather does turn much colder can help you to determine if there is a problem and consequently if you should call an experienced HVAC tech.
- Upgrade Your Thermostat. Smart technology has certainly come a long way. There are now smart thermostats that can be controlled from a variety of devices—even when you’re not present in the house. So for instance, if you’re at work and want to adjust the temperature back at home, a smart thermostat makes this possible. There are also some that ultimately come to learn the patterns of your home and adjust accordingly. Energy efficiency is amped up tremendously with a smart thermostat; enlisting the help of a professional furnace maintenance technician to this end, is going to be your best bet.
- Make Sure Vents Are Open. Something as simple as a closed vent could mean the difference between air/heat flowing as it should to keep your house temperate, to there being spots that range drastically in temperature. Also, you want to make sure that there are no airflow obstructions that could be inhibiting heat disbursement throughout the house.
- Focus on Window Coverings. Approximately 30% of air infiltration comes in through windows. Depending on the age of the home, this number can be even higher. In the fall and winter months, window coverings can aid immensely. During the day, leaving blinds and/or curtains open can help heat the space as sun streams in. At night, closing shades or drawing the curtains acts as a form of insulation, preventing heat from within your home from escaping. You might also want to consider incorporating insulated blinds or drapery during the colder months of the year.
The Importance of Regular Furnace Maintenance
While there are things you can definitely do on your own to prepare your furnace for the cold weather, having a contract in place in which an experienced technician performs regular central heating maintenance is absolutely key to making sure that your system is exactly where it needs to be.
At M.B. Kiser we offer flexible and reliable servicing plans—from annual service contracts to furnace tune-ups. With a service contract you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a skilled technician is regularly evaluating all components of your HVAC system. So when the cold weather does hit, your furnace will run smoothly and at ultimate efficiency.
And with our furnace tune-ups, it goes far beyond merely replacing the filter. We run diagnostic tests and clean all components of your unit so that it performs without being impeded in anyway. Preserving the life of your HVAC system is where our focus is. We don’t want customers to run into costly issues down the road, which is why regular maintenance and furnace tune-ups are so critical. We offer a variety of plans to accommodate a wide array of budgets and schedules. Preparing your furnace for the winter is something that should be left to trusted professionals with your best interests at heart. Call today and schedule your Fall/Winter central heating maintenance.