With the passing of Labor Day and the school-age children going back to classes, this is the first sign that summer is over. Days will get shorter and, more importantly, temperatures will drop, especially at night. Now is the time when homeowners will use their HVAC systems to keep warm, using the heater and furnace for comfort. But your HVAC system hasn’t been in use for a few months, so there are a few important things you should do to ensure you’re taking care of your heater and are ready for another cold winter.
1 – Change The Filter
This is especially important if your HVAC system is integrated with your air conditioner. Even if your furnace hasn’t been running all summer, your AC has been pushing air through the furnace to flow through your air ducts. This means that the filter currently inside has been hard at work, screening out particles and contaminants from outside.
It’s always a good policy to maintain a seasonal routine when it comes to replacing air filters. At a minimum, you should put in a new air filter every three months, or with the change of season. Taking longer than this results in blockage to the filter that forces your HVAC system to stay on longer, and leads to a rise in your monthly bills. If you want to be sure of your filter efficiency, you can also change filters every month, but three months is adequate for most homes.
2 – Get The Ducts Inspected & Cleaned
There’s often a misconception that when things don’t have moving parts, that means that they take care of themselves, and don’t require much maintenance. In the case of your air ducts, however, that’s not necessarily the case.
In the same way, the shingles of your roof are exposed to the elements; your air ducts have air constantly moved through them during the year. This can mean that blockages may occur in some locations that can have an impact on your heating for the winter. In some cases, wear and tear or even issues in the basement—if ducts are exposed—could mean damage that results in leakage. If you want to make sure your ducts are still airtight and efficiently transferring air throughout your home, call the professionals and have them checked and cleaned.
3 – Check Your Vents
The vents or “heat registers” are they are also called, are an important part of your comfort at home. Now that you’re making the switch back to heating, it’s a good time to take a walking inspection of your home and look at all the vents in the different rooms. Are they still clear? Has anything accumulated inside or on them?
One common problem that happens without people noticing is the blockage of these vents because of furniture. Moving a recliner or sofa, for example, may inadvertently block a vent, preventing the air from getting through. In bedrooms, it’s not unusual for people to sacrifice proper ventilation to get a shelf or desk just where they want it, but this will have an impact on bills now that free flow of air has been interfered with.
4 – Get Your Furnace Checked
Finally, it’s always a good maintenance and preventative measure to have the experts come in and look over your HVAC system. A gas furnace, for example, needs to be occasionally checked to make sure that gas delivery is still in order, and that no parts are out of place that could lead to the formation of carbon monoxide during the heating process, which can be dangerous to all residents of a home.
When you have experts come in, they have the tools and the experience to ensure that a thorough inspection takes place. They can make minor adjusts to the HVAC system to ensure small problems are eliminated. With proper testing, once everything is done, they make sure you’re good to go for the winter, rather than turning the heat the day it gets really cold and finding out that your furnace isn’t up to the task after all.
Taking Care of Your Heater with Briggs HVAC
If you want to make sure that your heater is ready for another winter of comfort, contact us today. We have the people, tools, talent, and experience to make sure that your transition to the winter months is a smooth and warm one with no problems. Let us inspect and maintain your heater to get you ready for the next season.