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Caring for Your HVAC This Winter

November 09, 2016
by Matt Dickerson,
ThermostatAs I finished my second training session in commercial and residential heating and air, I thought about how this impacts all of us. I cannot stress two topics enough: safety and maintenance.
We are fast approaching the full-time heating season and I want to pass along along a very small portion of what I’ve learned.

A good winter maintenance program is key to keeping your heating system running as safe and efficient as possible.
  • Keep the filter changed.
  • Make sure there are no obstructions around the furnace. Your furnace needs plenty of air movement to work properly.
  • If you use natural gas, have the flue cleaned and inspected.
  • Turn the heat on before it is needed to make sure everything is operating properly.

A basic rule of thermal dynamics - it’s cheaper to move heat than to make heat. If your home is not using a geothermal system, the less your furnace has to work to make heat, the more you save and the safer you’ll be. This includes gas and electric.

  • Make absolutely sure the smoke detectors in your home are operating correctly.
  • If you use natural gas, install two or three carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and one near the furnace/mechanical room.
  • Clean dust and debris off of heat limits on electric units.
  • Never use space heaters. If you need to use these, buy the ones that have a normally open switch with a button on the bottom of the unit. When they are not sitting level they turn off automatically.
  • If you use a wood stove or fireplace, make sure the flue/chimney is cleaned and maintained.

If at any time you feel something might not be operating correctly, such as a fowl odor, breakers tripping, hot and cold spots in your home, etc., have your system inspected by a licensed technician. That’s what they’re trained for.

I hope this helps everyone to be more vigilant this winter. If you have questions please feel free to reach out to me anytime. Be safe.