Now that you’ve enjoyed a mostly mild summer, it’s time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the colder temperatures and a possible polar vortex sequel. It’s like House Stark says, “winter is coming”. And, you don’t want to be surprised by a broken down heating system during the first cold snap.
Your heater has been waiting patiently for its time to shine and, before it makes its season debut, it’s the perfect time to review some preventative maintenance tips to make sure that heat is plentiful in your home this winter and that your heater will, you know, turn on.
Here are some handy tips for prepping your system for the “W” word:
Could it be time to replace your heater system? If your furnace or boiler is around 15-20 years old, it could be getting a little long in the tooth. Some furnaces installed more than 10 years ago are only about 50-60% efficient whereas today’s equipment boasts efficiency ratings as high as 97%. Remember: efficiency = less energy cost.
Freshen up your filters. Before brining your heater out of hibernation, you should install a new filter if your system uses replaceable filters. If not, give your filter a fall cleaning. Ideally, this should be done monthly. Dirty filters are coslty. They can restrict airflow and drag down the efficiency (there’s that word again) of your unit.
Check that thermostat. Put a separate thermometer next to your thermostat. Wait about 15 minutes for the thermometer to acclimate to the room's temperature. If they’re are more than a couple degrees apart, try cleaning the thermostat inside and out with a soft brush. If you have an older thermostat with a mercury vial inside use a level to make sure the unit is straight. If these don’t solve the degree discrepancy it may be time to replace your thermostat.
Inspect your ducts. Turn your system’s fan on then follow your ducts. Look and listen for any air escaping that should be going into your home. Repair any holes or cracks you find with mastic and consider scheduling a professional inspection every couple of years. For real piece of mind, consider a home energy assessment where a certified technician uses scientific methods to calculate the efficiency and comfort of your home. Watch our video of a home energy assessment HERE to learn more.
Get a preseason heater tune-up and safety inspection. The fall is a great time to have your heater inspected by a professional who will clean it, identify potential problems and ensure that your system is running as efficiently as possible. Routine maintenance translates to lower operating costs.
For a limited time you can save $50 on your preseason heater tune-up and safety inspection from your friends at ECI Comfort. Click the button below to read more about the benefits of doing so or to schedule an appointment.