7 Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter
When the weather gets cold outside, the last thing you want is for your home’s heating system to be struggling. You’ll likely need to rely on your furnace more than usual over the next few months, but if it hasn’t been properly winterized, it’s going to have a hard time effectively doing its job. It’s also going to burn up more energy, negatively affect your indoor air quality, and it may suffer a malfunction or breakdown.
Luckily, there are measures you can take to counteract the extra usage that the winter months tend to require. Before the cold season really kicks into high gear, try taking a few of these simple steps to prepare your heating system for the season.
1. Give Your Furnace Breaks
You’re going to be tempted to have the thermostat turned up frequently this winter, but if you can periodically find times to let your heating system rest, it will pay off. On average, for every single degree lower than your thermostat averages, your monthly energy bills will drop by around 2%. So, if you make a point to lower it by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for seven or eight hours each night when you sleep, the amount of money you save will really start to add up.
Taking this strain off of your heating system also helps to keep it healthy and lowers the odds of a breakdown during the cold months. In addition to lowering the heat when you’re sleeping, you can also try occasionally wearing warmer clothes around the house or closing the curtains at night to help trap heat. These techniques will also allow you to turn down your thermostat without feeling too cold.
2. Seal up Your Leaks
Air leaks, which typically form around the edges of windows, doorways, and garage doors, can be a major source of both warm air escaping and cold air seeping inside. If your home has a significant amount of these little openings, that’s a lot of wasted heat that your furnace will be forced to compensate for. This extra strain puts excessive wear and tear on the heating system and worsens its energy efficiency.
Before the weather gets any colder, conduct a thorough search of your home for any of these leaks, and take measures to seal them up completely. You can do it yourself using simple weather-stripping and caulk from the hardware store, or you can hire local professionals to take care of the job.
3. Have Your Ducts Cleaned
The air ducts in your home are a very important tool for your heating system. The furnace uses these ducts to circulate warm air throughout your household, and if the ducts are clean and intact, it will have no problem doing so effectively while keeping the air nice and clean.
However, if too much dust, dirt, pet dander, or other debris finds its way into the ductwork, your heating system may begin struggling to circulate heat. As you may have guessed, this extra effort won’t be good for the furnace, and it can raise the costs of keeping it running as well. The start of winter is an excellent time to bring in a ductwork professional for a thorough cleaning.
4. Purchase a Humidifier
Air tends to lack moisture during the cold season, and when air lacks moisture, it’s much harder for it to effectively transfer heat around. As a result, when the oxygen in your house gets dry, your house will start feeling significantly colder, and you’ll be forced to rely more on your heating system.
What a humidifier does is replenish much of that moisture, making the air capable of moving heat around once again and allowing you to warm up while also removing that pressure from your furnace. There are several types of humidifiers you can purchase, with some of them meant to be installed directly onto your heating system.
5. Clean Out Your Vents
All of the warm air that your heating system circulates eventually makes its way to the different vents in your home, which is how that warm air is distributed to different areas of the house. Unfortunately, dust and dirt can accumulate inside these vents over time, which will worsen your indoor air quality and obstruct your furnace from efficiently distributing heat.
Luckily, these vents are pretty easy to clean. All you’ll need to do is remove the protective panel and grille with a screwdriver and use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension hose to thoroughly suck up all of those contaminating particles. If you do this regularly, it will help your heating system run smoothly and efficiently.
6. Replace Your Furnace Air Filter
Every heating system has an air filter attached, and this air filter has a very important job. By trapping particles of contaminants and irritants in the air before they can make their way into the workings of the furnace, it keeps the unit clean and prevents it from becoming clogged.
All of these particles have to go somewhere, though, and they will eventually build up until the air filter is so packed with them that the furnace can no longer pull filtered air through. This can quickly become very straining on the heating system, with the potential to even result in a full breakdown. On a monthly basis, you’ll want to check the status of this air filter. If it has become very dirty or clogged, simply replace it with a new one.
7. Schedule Furnace Maintenance
To keep your heating system healthy and energy efficient, you should try to keep up with yearly maintenance tune-ups. Perhaps the most important time to schedule one, though, is the beginning of winter. The heating expert will make adjustments that allow your furnace to run more efficiently and do a more consistent job of providing you with heat. Since you’ll likely be depending on the appliance quite a bit while the weather is cold, this is especially important.
The technician will also check for any potential problems or parts that are close to wearing out so that you have the chance to take preventative measures. This is important as the last thing you want to experience during the winter is a furnace malfunction or breakdown. A tune-up now will make your winter more comfortable, and keeping up with tune-ups regularly will give your heating system a longer, healthier lifespan.
At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been proudly serving the residents of Roseville and all of southeastern Michigan since 1948. We aim to exceed the expectations of our clients, and we do so by employing the best customer service people and holding the members of our team to a higher standard of customer care. Our highly trained technicians undergo background checks, random drug tests, and extensive training to make sure our customers are always getting the best service. In addition to heating work, we offer a wide variety of other services, including air conditioning, ductless systems, humidifiers, indoor air quality, UV lights, water heaters, and ductwork services.
When you have home comfort needs, you should only entrust them to skilled and reputable professionals. Call us up at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today, and schedule your first appointment with us now.