Keeping the Heat Flowing All Winter Long

Now that the cold season has set in, it’s time for your heating system to become a priority concern in the home.

Hopefully by now you’ve already had a qualified professional from Family Danz take a look at your heating equipment to make sure everything is safe and functioning properly. The pro furnace tune-up in the fall will include adjusting the equipment to operate at peak efficiency, checking for carbon monoxide emissions, noting any leaks in the ductwork and flue pipes, checking burners and heat exchangers, inspecting the gas connections and lines for leaks, calibrating the thermostat, and inspecting the blower wheel and motor, crankcase heater, wiring and electrical disconnect, and ignition system and assembly.

That’s the first step in preparing for the winter heating season, and after the pro has completed the inspection there are several more routine maintenance tasks homeowners should keep up on as winter progresses. That regular attention will not only keep your heating system running at its optimal capacity, plus chances are that continued maintenance is required by the manufacturers to keep up your warranty. And you’ll cut your utility bills and possibly prevent costly future repair bills by tackling small concerns before they become major problems.

Your own part in the maintenance is a little easier than the HVAC contractor’s, of course. One of the easiest yet most important jobs in keeping up on furnace maintenance is replacing your furnace filters regularly — usually once a month — because dirty filters waste energy and money by creating stress on the furnace. Make sure you install the right size, and in the right direction (most filters have an arrow for air flow that should point towards the furnace).

Make sure all of your vents are free from any obstructions like furniture, drapes, and plants that will prevent the free flowing of the warm air around the home. It’s a waste of money to have the warmth jammed up by something in its way.

Always make sure there are no flammable materials near your furnace. Too many fires in the winter start because combustible materials were stored near the open flame of a gas furnace’s pilot light or the spark of an electric igniter. That pilot light should always be a clear blue color — a yellow or orange flame is evidence of trouble and a professional should be called immediately.

Keep an ear out for any unusual sounds while your furnace runs in the winter. Also, keep your nose tuned to unusual smells. Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working. If something is out of the norm, give us a call to come out and check it out.

That way, you are sure to stay warm all winter long.