As the weather gets colder, you’ll soon want to turn on your heating if you haven’t already done so. Though it’s only October, we’re hitting some cool temperatures in North Carolina, especially at night. Set yourself up right – problems with your heating can bring a lot of misery in the winter months. Here’s how you can help ensure that your heating system keeps your home warm and comfortable throughout the colder months.
Clean your air vents
When you vacuum your home, don’t forget to clean the air vents and registers too. This will help prevent your vents from becoming clogged with dust or dirt, which can make your furnace work harder than it needs to and stops warm air from reaching your living space. Keeping air vents clean also promotes good air quality, by preventing dust and pathogens from being carried into the air inside your home.
Replace or clean your air filters
If your air filter is dirty, you will need to either clean it (if it’s reusable) or replace it with a new one. Replaceable air filters usually last a month or so if your HVAC system is running continuously. A dirty air filter introduces contaminants into the air and also blocks heated air from getting through. It forces the fans in your HVAC system to work harder than they need to and means that your furnace uses more fuel.
Check your thermostat settings
Your thermostat needs to be set to the correct temperature and timing to keep your home comfortable. If you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a new one. Modern digital and smart thermostats make it much easier to keep your house at the temperature you want, when you want it. You should also make sure that the batteries in your thermostat are still good.
Insulate your home
It’s true that insulation is not, strictly speaking, an element of your HVAC system. Insulation is hugely important to the proper heating and cooling of your home, however. As well as checking for gaps around your doors and windows and under your eaves, you should also check that you have sufficient insulation in your attic to prevent heat loss. The more heat you lose through air gaps and poor attic insulation, the harder your heating has to work and the shorter the lifespan of your system. You’ll also use more energy or fuel than you need to.
Protect your outdoor AC unit
If you have an outdoor AC unit, invest in a unit cover to protect it from the effects of ice and snow. It’s not expensive to do this and can extend the life of your AC if you live in an area where the winters are harsh.
Call in the professionals
Now is a great time to get your HVAC system checked out if you haven’t already. Ideally, you should have your heating checked out and maintained at least once per year — a properly certified technician can spot trouble with your heating before it starts. Your local HVAC professional will make sure that your furnace is running efficiently, ready to see you through this winter and many more to come.
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