Cold-weather ready, part 2 (heating!)
Part 2 is here! Here at Capital Heat, we love when the seasons change. What a great opportunity to get your house/life/brain in order. New season, new chores – that’s what we always say.
Last time we reviewed some crucial yard work steps you can take to get ready for winter, as well as how to get your AC units ready for the off-season. We also reminded you to check your sump pump and your fireplace, if applicable. But we also said the fun was just beginning, and we were right.
We covered AC units (literally AND figuratively) last week, so now lets think about getting our heating systems ready for the on-season.
It’s been getting really cold at night lately. But warm during the day so you’re not inclined to turn on the heat quite yet. That’s perfect, because we bet you have a little work to do.
- Make sure all your vents are clear. If you use a heating delivery system that uses vents to delivery air into rooms (such as forced air, which is pretty common around here), it’s easy to think of the vents as a less important part of the system. But guess what – if you plop a big, comfy couch in front of the vent in the living room, you’re paying a whole lot of money to heat your upholstery. Vents shouldn’t be blocked by anything that prevents airflow. Surely we don’t need to explain why. You may just need a gentle reminder.
- Clean your vents. They gather dust, especially when they aren’t being used.And the first time that hot air comes flowing out of them this winter, they’re going to deliver a nice coating of hot dust all over everything nearby.
- Change the filter. Your furnace relies on a filter to prevent dust, mold and other junk from being delivered into your home. The filter is usually at the front of your furnace, often near the bottom. Some of them are reusable, some are disposable. Clean or replace it before your furnace kicks on this year. And if anyone in your home is prone to allergies, you may want to consider cleaning/replacing your filter once a month through the cold season.
- Speaking of your furnace, do you have a carbon monoxide detector close to it? Furnaces are a main cause of CO, which is toxic, leaking into your home. Having a detector close to the source could mean the difference between life and death. CO is denser than air, so it stays low. Since a lot of furnaces are in the basement, it could take a while for a slow leak to set off a detector in the main living areas. And if you do have one already, test it!
- If it’s been a while, go ahead and get a professional to inspect and clean your system. There are things like belts that need maintenance and lubrication, and it’s a dangerous game to mess with those yourself. Furnaces get dirty, and every couple years they need to be cleaned. And don’t forget about your ducts – dirty ducts deliver dirty air. Into every room of your house. The technicians at Capital Heat are experts in furnace maintenance.
It may still seem like it’s too early to worry about this stuff (especially with the recent promise of an Indian Summer), but the alternative is…you wait until it is time, and you end up 200th in line to have your furnace looked at. We’re fast and efficient, but even we can’t get through 200 service calls in a day. This really is a classic case of “you snooze, you lose.” Get your furnace and heating system ready for winter today, and that way when it’s time to flip on that pilot light, your whole family can breathe easy (see what we did there? Filters, ducts – breathing easy?).
Or, if you’re sick and tired of the maintenance and the bills and the incessant changing of filters, go ahead and think about installing a geothermal heating system. You can eliminate virtually all of the hassle of a traditional furnace. Including gas bills. Let’s say that again: you can virtually eliminate gas bills. And you use the clean, renewable energy of the sun, so your environmental footprint goes way down. Capital Heat is a leading installer of geothermal heat in WNY, and we would absolutely love to chat with you about the possibilities of a geothermal heating system in your home. Now is a great time of year to discuss the switch to geothermal heating and cooling.
This series is not over yet. There is still more to come, if you can believe it. The ominous threat of ice dams. Draft checks. Plumbing. We can’t wait to keep sharing with you.