The cold winter months can be both harsh and beautiful. Heating systems hold a heavy burden during the cold season. Unless heaters receive regular maintenance care, they can start to falter or even fail completely. You don’t want the discomfort of shivering in your home for hours or days until the problem is fixed. Take a few tips from the experts to help ensure your system is ready to carry you through to spring.
Change Your Air Filters Preemptively
Many homes use furnaces for heat. Any system that generates forced air, like a furnace, will need a filter to protect internal components. Once the filter is clogged with dirt and debris, it can cause damage needing costly and time-consuming repairs. You should change the filter once a month or following any time your furnace has endured a long period of heavy use.
Don’t Overwork Your Heater
Use the lowest heat setting you find comfortable with the aid of heavier clothes and extra blankets. Depending on your insulation, you should be able to find a spot between 62°F and 68°F that’s comfortable. Lower the temperature further to 58°F during the night and use heavier blankets. Programmable thermostats can be helpful in regulating lower temps for best comfort. Other than saving money on electric bills, this will lessen the load on your heater system and make repairs and breakdowns less frequent occurrences.
Do Your Preventive Maintenance Prior to the Winter Cold
The best way to care for your heater is to have a professional perform a full check-up and tune it up before the winter begins. Annual check-ups will prevent expensive emergency repairs. Set up an early maintenance appointment soon, before the winter season fills up your technicians’ schedule.
Debrief Your Heater in the Spring
When the cold season ends, contact a technician to give your machine the once-over. Maintenance techs will clean dirty components, tighten up fittings and replace worn parts. Should more serious repairs be in order, the tech should identify them and set up a time for more a thorough repair. This will ensure your heater is ready to go at the start of next season.
Consider More Efficient Upgrades
Your system may work fine as it is, but after a few add-ons and adjustments it will work even better, ensuring less wear and costing less money to run. Zone control systems, for example, will allow you to heat the rooms that need it most, and to not waste valuable heat on hallways and storage rooms. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat if you haven’t got one, and new gas-gates and seals wouldn’t hurt either.
Always Look for Warning Signs
Repair needs frequently announce themselves with warning signs such as unusual knocking or whistling noises, bills going up despite not having used more heat than normal, or the air coming in cooler than expected. The more quickly you respond to these warning signs, the more likely you will be to avoid costly repairs- or risk going without heat.