When the weather turns chilly, your heating system needs to be ready and able to keep your home comfortably warm. Here are some tips on how to ensure your furnace is working safely, reliably and at peak efficiently throughout the coming heating season.
INSTALL A NEW FURNACE FILTER
A new filter helps to maintain vital airflow through the HVAC system that's necessary for optimal energy efficiency. To keep air flowing properly so efficiency doesn't decline, check the filter monthly and put in a fresh one as soon as debris is evident, or once every three months at minimum.
SCHEDULE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
Before you fire up the furnace, schedule yearly maintenance so a certified HVAC professional can inspect the system, clean the components and make sure it's in good working condition. Some of the many tasks a pro performs include lubricating the fan motor, checking the heat exchanger for cracks and corrosion, tightening all the electrical connections, verifying the thermostat's accuracy and testing essential safety controls like the high limit switch.
MAKE THERMOSTAT ADJUSTMENTS
Now's the time to switch the thermostat setting over to heating, and make any seasonal programming changes. If you don't have a programmable thermostat yet, get your HVAC pro to install one and show you how to program in temperature setbacks for times when you're typically sleeping or at work.
GIVE THE HEAT VENTS SOME ATTENTION
Take off the vent covers and clean them, then vacuum down as far as possible into the air ducts to get rid of accumulated debris and dust. When you put the clean covers back in place, make sure that the louvers are open and the vents aren't blocked by any furniture or household items that can impede airflow.
HAVE THE FLUE CLEANED
Have a chimney sweep clean and check the flue so it's clear of soot deposits and miscellaneous debris like animal nesting materials, pine cones, leaves or broken branches. When it's clean and free of potential obstructions, hazardous combustion fumes can vent properly.
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Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).