The winter solstice is at our doorstep. We didn't seem to have much of a fall this year! We seemed to go from A/C straight to heat! The chilly change is sobering sampling of what’s to come. You're wavering whether it’s really time to commit to the flannel sheets. One thing that’s certain? The furnace is humming today and needs to warm your home!
A Virginia home’s main heating system has a big job and a long road ahead.
You wouldn’t leave for your Thanksgiving travel without checking your car engine’s oil or the air pressure in the tires, right? Right! So it’s definitely a good time to get your furnace ready for its winter journey. Here are the 4 simple ways to prepare:
1. Have an annual inspection by an HVAC professional
HVAC systems are complex and require a trained pro to get them running right. They’ll check things like coils, pressure and airflow, burners and your heat exchanger. Dealing with a system failure is not pleasant when it’s freezing outside, not to mention it could damage other home systems. Let’s do it right!
Got oil-based heat? Here’s a solid information source for maintenance.
2. Change or clean your filters
Don’t wait until you hear that terrible sound of heat ducts popping when the heat turns on and off. If you’re not sure if you’ve gotten your money’s worth from your existing filters here’s a better measure. Buy new filters and compare them to the old ones in front of a bright light. If you can’t see light filtering well through the old filters, replace them.
3. Clean your duct vent inlets
This is a job tackled simply with your vacuum’s brush attachment tool. That annual inspection professional can also inspect the inner duct work for cleanliness, insulation, and tight connections.
4. Reverse your ceiling fans (video)
Give your furnace a little help this winter by recirculating the naturally rising warm air trapped at your ceiling. Just switch your ceiling fan’s spin direction to clockwise and send that warm air back down. This only works at a low setting, otherwise you’ll create an uncomfortable wind chill effect. Watch:
There you go! Don’t worry if you rely on a fireplace, wood stove or other heat source in your home- we’ll cover those next. We need to chat about the extra care needed with those alternative heating helpers to protect against the #1 winter threat to your home: FIRE. We want to be sure things stay comfortable and safe for your family all winter long.