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When the cold season hits, your heater quickly becomes one of the most important parts of your home. Most furnaces are powered by gas, electricity, or oil and may be integrated into your whole home HVAC system—heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Without a well-functioning heating system, you may dread winter.
Getting your furnace annually serviced by a professional will help with efficiency and safety. By scheduling regular HVAC maintenance and heating system maintenance before winter starts (September for your furnace), you can rest assured that you’ll have a warm and comfortable home when cold weather arrives.
You don’t always have to rely on professionals to keep your heating system in good shape. Regular maintenance will keep your home comfortable and your heating system running safely and efficiently with fewer costly repairs. Take a look at our top heating system maintenance tips to help you with your heater’s upkeep.
Checking the thermostat is a relatively easy heating system maintenance step you can perform on your own. To do this, simply set your thermostat a few degrees higher than the current room temperature. If your heating system doesn’t start up at all, something may be wrong with your thermostat.
If the heater does turn on, let it run for a few minutes. If it remains on and continuously blowing, this is a good sign. If, however, it shuts off very quickly, there could be an issue with the thermostat that requires further evaluation from a professional.
Cleaning your heating system’s ducts is something you shouldn’t have to do very often, but it should be a part of heating system maintenance to prevent allergens and dust from accumulating in your duct work.
Clean the ducts if you notice the house getting dustier when the heater is in use or if someone in the house has allergies. You may need to clean the ducts more often if you notice their symptoms worsen when the heater is running.
Brush the inside of your ducts to loosen any debris and dust, then vacuum them out. Take care to be thorough–if you leave any loose dust and debris behind, it’s bound to blow out the next time your heater turns on.
This is a heating systems maintenance task that is relatively simple. A vacuum wand may be a useful tool if you need to reach grilles and registers that are high on a wall or ceiling. You also have the option of wiping them down with a damp cloth or towel.
Forced-air heaters work by warming air within a heating unit and then blowing it throughout the house. A poorly functioning blower may have a direct effect on how well your heater works. As part of your heating system’s maintenance, you’ll want to periodically clean the blower.
The blowers in forced-air furnaces are typically located behind a removable panel. You may need to unscrew or slide the panel to access the blower. Clean all the areas of the blower that you can reach with a vacuum. Finally, wipe down the blower with a damp cloth. For more information on how to clean the blower, consult your user manual.
Filters keep debris and dust from entering your home and furnace. Keeping the filter clean is a simple heating system maintenance task and is good practice for both efficiency and safety.
You should replace the filter on your furnace as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Keep a box of filters on hand and write the date of installation on the side of the filter to make sure you’re changing it regularly. If you notice more dust or soot than usual, changing the filter may alleviate these problems.
If you have a problem with your heating system, as with all systems or appliances, check for blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers, and proper power first.
We hope these heating system maintenance tips help keep your home warm and comfortable during the colder months. For more information on how we can help you, or for questions about understanding if you need a home warranty, give us a call at 1-888-492-7359.
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