Before long, the freezing weather of the Michigan winter will be at our doorsteps. When the temperature outside starts to plummet, you and your family will likely be relying heavily on your heating system to stay comfortable. However, if your HVAC unit isn’t prepared for the increased usage, then its performance and efficiency will suffer. Plus, the odds of a malfunction or breakdown will increase significantly, and the last thing you’ll want in the middle of winter is a broken-down furnace. Before the coldest time of year arrives, you’d be wise to take certain measures to get your heating system ready for the changing seasons. That way, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that it will be up to the task of providing warmth when you need it the most.
Here, we’ll cover a few tips for how you can prepare your home’s heating source for the chilly temperatures ahead in Downriver.
Ideally, you should be scheduling professional HVAC tune-ups every year, and having your heater serviced before the winter is always a prudent choice. During a maintenance visit, your hired HVAC technician will take measures to ensure that your heating system is running at peak performance and efficiency. The tune-up will involve cleaning the contaminants out of the unit, checking the condition of its many components, and inspecting for any mechanical issues or warning signs of future problems.
Staying on top of heating maintenance can bring a variety of noticeable benefits to your household. For one, your furnace will be able to run much more smoothly throughout the winter, resulting in more consistent comfort and lower monthly energy bills. Additionally, the odds of an equipment failure will decrease significantly, potentially saving you some money on repair costs. Because the tune-up will involve cleaning the dust, dirt, and debris out of the system, you’ll also enjoy cleaner and healthier indoor air. Finally, scheduling this service at least once per year can increase the productive lifespan of your heating unit by several years.
Another effective way to prepare your heater for the winter is to replace its air filter. Your heating system’s air filter has the crucial task of catching airborne contaminants before they can be pulled into the unit and cycled around your home. However, air filters only have so much space for contaminant particles, and eventually, they will become dirty or even clogged. And when your heater has a clogged air filter, it can obstruct the system’s airflow, putting extra strain on the equipment, worsening its performance, and increasing its energy usage. That’s why it’s important to regularly replace your heater’s air filter before it gets too dirty and doing so before the cold weather arrives is a wise choice.
Since you’ll presumably be running your heating system frequently throughout winter, you shouldn’t just replace the filter once and then forget about it. If you want to keep the unit healthy, effective, and efficient, you should monitor the air filter and switch it out periodically for as long as you’re requiring the warmth.
If your home’s air ducts are dirty, leaky, or otherwise damaged, it’s going to make things much harder for your heating system during winter. When your ductwork is clean and in good condition, your heater has a clear pathway to smoothly circulate warm air. However, when contaminants like dirt, dust, mold, pollen, and random debris are allowed to accumulate unchecked for too long, it complicates things. To provide your living space with sufficient warmth, your heater has to push through all of those contaminant particles. And the more obstructed the air ducts are, the more air pressure is required to do so, resulting in wasted energy and more strain on the equipment.
In addition to cleaning out the ducts, your hired ductwork professionals can also check for any leaks or other damage. If your air ducts have leaks, it can impact your furnace’s ability to evenly provide heat and operate efficiently. As long as you schedule yearly ductwork cleanings, you’ll always discover leaks before they’re allowed to linger for too long.
After your home’s warm air moves through your ductwork, it must flow out of your air vents before it reaches you and your family. However, those vents can gradually become dirty in the same way that the air ducts can. The more contaminants accumulate in your household vents, the harder your heating system will have to work to consistently push air through. As long as you keep those vents clean and unobstructed, though, your heater should be able to provide excellent results and remain healthy. Fortunately, cleaning your air vents is relatively quick and easy. You should be able to remove the cover panels with a screwdriver, and then cleaning them is as simple as sucking out the contaminants with a vacuum cleaner’s hose extension. For the most comfortable and frugal winter possible, make a point to clean all of your home’s air vents once a month.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to run your furnace regularly all winter without experiencing any problems. However, even if you take amazing care of the unit, there’s never a guarantee that it won’t malfunction. And if your furnace has a problem with its heat exchanger, flue pipe, or gas burners, it could potentially lead to carbon monoxide or other harmful fumes leaking out into your home.
To make sure that you and your family are as safe as possible this winter, take the time to ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. After all, it’s much better to have them and not need them than it is to need them and not have them.
At Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we’ve been faithfully serving the greater Southgate area for more than 60 years. If you need reliable heating services, you can always count on our team of experts. We’ll help you make sure your heater is running smoothly and efficiently when you need it the most, and if you encounter any equipment problems, we’ll resolve them for you. Give our offices a call today at (734) 285-1809 if you’d like to schedule an appointment.