Outside temperatures are dropping and winter is ready to settle in. Now is the time to ensure your home is prepared for months of chilly and icy weather—the “heating season.” With the right home heating services in Gaithersburg, VA, you should be able to enjoy a trouble-free season with a heater that won’t let you down or run up your bills higher than they should be.
What Steps Do I Need to Take to Prep the Heater for Winter?
There are a few basic tasks to take care of for the best and safest performance from your heater in the coming winter, whether you use a furnace, boiler, or heat pump.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
This is the most vital step for quality heating. We strongly urge all homeowners to arrange for a maintenance appointment with a licensed HVAC technician. The technician comes to the home and provides a thorough inspection of the heater that covers all the major components. Maintenance also includes necessary cleaning, adjustments, and other basic tune-up steps.
There are numerous benefits of keeping up with this pre-seasonal service each year:
- The technician will find any problems with the heater that might present safety hazards. This is crucial for gas-powered furnaces and boilers.
- Any other repair issue can be detected early so it can be fixed before the winter arrives. Around 85% of malfunctions can be prevented this way.
- The heater will enjoy a longer lifespan.
- The cleaning and tune-up tasks will help the heater work at its highest possible energy efficiency.
- It keeps the manufacturer’s warranty valid.
Change the Filter
If you use a forced-air heater (i.e. a furnace or heat pump), change the HVAC cabinet’s air filter for a clean one. The filter will have picked up debris over the summer and fall, and to give the heater the best start on winter it needs to have a clean filter. If you don’t know where the filter is or how to change it, ask your technician during maintenance.
Have Any Repairs Done as Soon as Possible
Never, and we mean never ever, delay on scheduling a repair when you think there’s something wrong with your heater. There’s no such thing as a “little” heating problem, since any malfunction can spread and create a chain reaction of more problems. A malfunctioning heater may also turn into a safety hazard, so be prompt with calling experts to repair the system.
Check to See Room Vents Are Clear
For a forced-air system, we advise looking around all the rooms to ensure the vents of the ventilation system are open and unblocked. Obstructed room vents will not only lead to cold spots, it spikes air pressure inside the ductwork, which leads to damage to the ducts and a drop in heating system efficiency.
Test CO Detectors
If you have a gas boiler or furnace, check on the carbon monoxide detectors in your house and press the “test” button to make sure they’re working. Put in fresh batteries if necessary. (And if you don’t have CO detectors in a home that uses natural gas, go get them right away!)