Commercially speaking, America has been ready for fall since early August. Now that the weather has finally caught up to the spirit of the season; it is time to turn on that furnace and cozy up with our pumpkin themed beverages. Before we crank up the heat though, it is a good idea to follow these few steps to make sure everything is in top form.
Test Your Thermostat
First of all, lets trail run the first line of defense: your thermostat. Before it gets really cold try out your thermostat to make sure everything is tip-top. Once you hit the switch listen for your boiler or furnace to turn on and make sure the room temperature and setting on the device match. If your thermostat is a newer model, make sure the batteries are not dead. The batteries should be replaced every six months or so.
Do A Practice Run
Worst case scenario: the first really cold snap comes and your furnace is busted. They say practice makes perfect, and that is exactly what you want from your furnace when you need it most. Keep your system running for ten minutes and make sure it heats consistently and runs smoothly the entire time.
Also, if you have a gas powered system check the pilot light. The flames should be blue and steady ovals, if they are yellow and flickering call a pro to fix it.
Winterize Cracks, Gaps, and Cold Spots
First off, check your insulation, because if your insulation is to blame these quick fixes will accomplish nothing. You can try to do it yourself or call a professional fix the problem areas.
The bottoms of doors are big ones. Purchase or make a draft stopper, this is a very easy and effective fix. They fit right at the bottom of the door and keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Pick up some caulking or spray foam and even a window insulation kit at your local home improvement store and get to work. Temporary caulking and spray foam can be removed for the summer months. The plastic insulation kit is simple and basically shrink wraps your windows.
Inspect Outside Vents
Branches, leaves, birds nests and rodents could be blocking the intake and exhaust vents. These are easily spotted: you will find white PVC venting material on an exterior wall of your home. Make sure this area is clear and free from debris.
Change Your Filter and Inspect Your Ducts
It is so common for people to neglect their filters. Changing a dirty filter will make your system more efficient and give you cleaner air. If you leave a dirty filter for too long the air flow will become restricted and your system can overheat causing more serious issues. Filters should be changed every 90 days, and more frequently if you have a pet or an allergy sufferer in the home.
You can call a pro for this but homeowners can do it themselves with the right equipment. Keeping your ducts free from grime and dust will go far in improving the quality of your home’s air, not to mention improving system efficiency.
It is suggested that you service your furnace once a year. You can do a lot of it yourself but if there is any sign of a problem it’s better to call a pro. Skipping routine maintenance can cost you thousands in repairs, leave you in the cold and even cause deadly CO2 to fill your home. The old adage always rings true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
It is always a good idea to give your furnace a little attention before its all systems go. When the heat of summer is a distant memory and we are all embracing that nip in the air, make sure your home is prepared to keep you warm and cozy. Call Jackson Comfort Services today for an inspection or a tune up, the seasons are changing but your comfort shouldn’t have to.