Now that winter has truly arrived, it’s imperative to ensure that your household is fully prepared for the cold season. One crucial part of this is making sure that your heating system is in good working condition, and properly prepared to handle the extra usage that will be necessary as the temperature drops.
If you fail to prepare your heating system, the extra pressure you’ll be putting on it will not only make it more likely to break down or struggle, but keeping it running will also cost you quite a bit of extra money in monthly energy bills. Fortunately, there are simple ways that you can winterize your furnace and ensure that you’re both staying warm and saving money this winter.
Keeping up with regular furnace maintenance is always important, but it is even more important during the cold months. These professional tune-ups allow your heating system to operate at peak energy efficiency, which will be crucial if you’re having to keep the thermostat cranked up all winter long.
During these maintenance visits, your heating technician will also be checking to see if any of the appliance’s components are nearly worn out or if there are any indicators of an upcoming breakdown. By getting ahead of these problems before they materialize, the technician will be able to help you avoid any major inconveniences in the near future. The last thing you want on your hands is a furnace breakdown in the middle of the winter. Scheduling one of these tune-ups is relatively inexpensive, and the amount of money and hassle it will save you afterward will make it more than worthwhile.
Another way you can winterize your heating system is by planning a day of cleaning in which you focus on a few key areas. There are a few specific cleaning tasks that will make it easier for your furnace to operate, and typically the easiest method is to do them all at once.
Start with your furnace itself, which can become dirtied or clogged with dust and other debris. Remove the access panel, and use a vacuum extension hose to clean the interior chamber. Next, you’ll want to clean the area directly around the furnace by removing any clutter or large objects. Keeping things near the heating system is a fire hazard and also makes it more difficult to circulate warm air effectively.
Another important thing to clean or replace is your furnace’s air filter. This filter protects the heating unit by trapping particles of dust and dirt before they can clog up the system. After a while, however, the filter will become dirty or clogged up itself. As a result, the furnace has to work harder to suck air through the filter, which worsens its energy efficiency and accumulates more wear and tear. This can, in turn, shorten the overall lifespan of the appliance.
To avoid this, all you need to do is check the filter regularly. If you’re able to clean it, do so, but if it becomes especially dirty, it would be wise to replace it with a new one. Try to remember to check the filter at the start of the cold season and on a monthly basis afterward.
Your last stop on your day of cleaning should be your home’s air vents. You likely have several of these vents in your household. If the interior of these vents is not cleaned regularly, dust, dirt, and debris will accumulate. In addition to worsening the overall quality of your indoor air, this also hampers your furnace’s ability to circulate warm air throughout the house. You can make sure this does not happen by simply visiting each vent, removing the protective cover and grille with a screwdriver, and using your vacuum’s extension hose to thoroughly clean it out.
Purchase a Humidifier
A large aspect of winterizing your heating system is simply finding ways to take some of the pressure off of it. Since you will probably be depending on it pretty frequently, any rest that you are able to give the appliance can make a major difference — both on your bills and the overall health of your furnace. One good way to remove some of this strain is by purchasing a humidifier.
You may have noticed that the air tends to be especially dry during winter, but you may not be aware that this actually causes your home to feel colder than it would if there was more moisture present. Oxygen needs this moisture to transfer heat around, so when it is dry, your furnace has to work harder to compensate for that lost heat. A humidifier will add moisture to your indoor air, which will make it feel warmer without needing to crank up the thermostat. You can choose between an in-line version, which would be installed onto your furnace, or a separate unit, which would be placed somewhere else inside your home.
Add Attic Insulation
If your attic is not properly insulated, it can result in a lot of extra strain on your heating system, especially during the cold season. This is because, without that extra barrier that insulation provides, your attic can be a major source of not only warm air escaping but also cold air seeping into the house. Since heat rises, this will continue happening all winter long. Your furnace has to work hard to compensate for this loss of heat, which can be damaging to the system and increase the operational cost.
The most common type of attic insulation is the spray foam variety, which is relatively expensive and does need to be installed by professionals. However, it is very effective at keeping warmth trapped inside. If you prefer to install the insulation yourself, you will need to go with either blanket insulation or radiant and reflective insulation, though you should only attempt to do so if you have the necessary knowledge and tools.
Since being founded in 1975, the team at Level 9 Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing has been providing top-of-the-line HVAC services to residents of Washington, MO, and the surrounding areas. We offer our customers not only high-quality heating repair, maintenance, and installation services, but also cooling, indoor air quality, and geothermal services as well. Our core values are centered around the things that we believe are most important: trustworthy character and quality work that you can count on. We also take pride in our luxury customer service, and we always do whatever possible to cater to your personal needs. You can rest assured that when you call us up, you won’t be stuck waiting. You will receive quick responses, exceptional service, and honest communication.
Your household comfort needs are important, and you should only entrust them to local professionals who you can rely on. Give us a call today, and get your first appointment scheduled with a friendly and skilled member of our HVAC team.