Fall is finally here! For many people, it’s their favorite season of the year. Pumpkin spice flavored foods line the shelves in the grocery store. The trees have beautiful deep red, orange and yellow leaves. Corn mazes and fall festivals become regular places to visit on weekends. These things are great perks of the season, and we’re sure you could go on and on about other activities, foods or scents that you love this time of year.
As we all know, with this season comes cooler weather. If you haven’t already, you’ll be turning your thermostat from “COOL” to “HEAT” in the not-too-distant future. If you’re the average homeowner, then you likely haven’t given much thought to the maintenance needed to get your heating system ready for the months ahead. However, if you want to keep your family warm and toasty during the remainder of fall and into winter, read on to get some cold weather home tips.
Tip #1: Schedule an annual maintenance appointment.
Many people mistakenly believe that if their heating system seems to be working alright, then there’s no need to make an appointment for yearly tune-up work. However, your furnace could be facing problems that just haven’t made themselves known yet. An expert can check for those problems. What’s more, during a maintenance appointment, a professional tech will also thoroughly clean and inspect all working components inside the unit to be sure there isn’t any dirt or dust build-up.
Having your system tuned-up by a pro is one of the best and easiest things you can do to ensure it continues to operate safely and efficiently throughout the entirety of the heating season.
Tip #2: Change your air filter regularly.
Another thing that many homeowners fail to remember to do is replace the filter on a regular basis. Your filter should get swapped out monthly during the peak of the heating season — maybe even more frequently if you have individuals in your home who suffer from allergies, or who smoke.
The job of your filter is to prevent airborne contaminants, such as pet dander, dirt, dust and other allergens from reaching your family’s the living spaces. When your filter is full of pollutants, it won’t be able to do a very good job at keeping those nasty things out of the air you breathe.
Not sure what size filter you need? Check out the specifications on your current filter’s frame. Make note of them, or take a picture, before purchasing a replacement. Often, you can buy a multi-pack of replacement filters so that you won’t need to run out to the store each month to get a new one.
Tip #3: Check your air vents.
If you noticed that certain rooms of your home felt much warmer than they should have during the spring and summer months, the problem could be with your vents. If it is, they could be a problem during cold weather, too. Often, homeowners will unknowingly restrict air flow to their family’s space by putting furniture, rugs, long curtains, etc. over or in front of vents. When this happens, conditioned air from an AC or furnace can’t easily make its way out and into the living space of the home. This could leave you with much colder or warmer rooms.
Additionally, when you have blocked vents, it can cause your HVAC units to work harder than necessary to try and maintain the temperature set on your thermostat. If the thermostat is placed in one of these rooms with restricted air flow, it may inaccurately read the temperature as something much hotter/colder than it really is — and trigger your heating or cooling system to cycle on more often than it should. This could lead to premature wear and tear on your units, as well as higher energy bills.
Tip #4: Seal up any openings in your home.
It’s not unheard of for a home to have weakened seals around window and door frames. These areas become locations for air loss. It means that conditioned air from your furnace can escape, and cold outside air can easily get inside. In turn, this could cause your heating system to run more often than it should to try and keep your home warm and comfortable.
To test for areas of air loss, run your hand along your window and door frames. Make note of any areas where you can feel cold air getting inside. These are the spots where you’ll need to add extra weatherstripping material, which can be purchased at your local home improvement store or online.
Tip #5: Let the sunlight in!
On sunny fall days, open your curtains to let in the sunlight. Many people are surprised by just how much their rooms can be warmed up by natural light. This can help lessen the number of times your furnace cycles on during the day. This bright little step can help prevent extraneous wear on your system, and it could also help to save you money on your energy bills.
Need to find an expert to help you with your annual furnace maintenance? Look no further than Oncourse Home Solutions. We offer an affordable Heating Maintenance Plan for homeowners just like you. When you’re enrolled in the plan, you’re entitled to a yearly tune-up appointment for your home’s heater.
Have questions? Give us a call anytime or chat with a customer service representative by clicking the “Click to Chat” tab on the right side of the page.