DIY: Maintain Your Heating System
Winters in the West are brutal, and the inside of your home can feel like a sanctuary of cozy warmth, but only if your heating system is well maintained. Although a home warranty is here to protect against the costly repairs a homeowner may face, systems need to be kept in good order and regularly maintained.
Saving energy while maintaining your heating system is a great way to make the heat in your home last efficiently, and can save you money on your bills in the long run. Let’s look at ways to maintain the system, and taking extra steps to save energy!
Cover Your Drafty Windows
During the cold winter months, if your windows are single-pane, older or drafty, use a heavy-duty clear plastic sheet on the frame. Another tip is to install insulating drapes or shades on windows.
Adjust the Temperature
You can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills when you turn your thermostat down when you’re asleep or out of the house. Turn your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours. A smart or programmable thermostat can help efficiency.
Lower Your Water Heating Costs
This is a simple tip: turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees, the warm setting. You’ll save energy, money and your skin from being scalded!
Until spring and warmer temperatures arrive, keeping your HVAC system running smoothly is of utmost importance. Here’s a list of maintenance tips.
Visually Inspect Your System
Give your system a visual once over. Are the wires intact, are there signs that pests have chewed through or damaged the system’s wiring? If so, contact us and file a claim so we can get an electrician out there immediately. It may seem like a no-brainer, but the pilot light is one of the most important part of the system, it’s the ignition! Check to see if your pilot light is lit, and refer to your system’s manual or call a professional for assistance.
Clean Your System
Take time to wipe the system down and remove dust and debris, or use a vacuum with a long nozzle to snag the dust in hard-to-reach areas. The fan blower could always use extra attention, as well as the vents and dampers in each room. Replace the filters if they are dirty, and regularly replace them every few months.
Check the Ducts
Your heater won’t operate at peak efficiency if there are leaks in the duct work. Check the seal around the return that feeds into your heater to make sure it’s tight. It can create a backdraft if it’s not. Wrap or calk the joints, and heat-graded foil tape is a cheap and easy fix.
Do a Practice Run
After cleaning and prepping the system, turn it on for 10 minutes and run the furnace. Listen for odd noises, look for soot and smoke and those could indicate a cracked heat exchanger. If the furnace develops a crack, carbon monoxide could leak into your home so be sure your home’s carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly. After you feel heat coming from the system, you’ve done your part to endure your system is working good as new when you most need it!