How To Make Sure Your Furnace Survives Winter

During winter, it’s important to make sure your furnace continues working properly. For a gas furnace, all that is needed is a quick inspection.A quick inspection can be the difference between your family freezing or staying warm and comfortable. Even if winter has already arrived, it’s never too late to get an inspection. It’s much better to pay for some preventive maintenance than discovering the hard way that your furnace isn’t capable of keeping your family comfortable.

Understand the Furnace

In most cases, furnaces that run on gas are installed in a non-livable area of a home. For example, a furnace might be installed in an attic, closet or basement. Although furnaces are quite easy to maintain, they require regular attention from homeowners.

Sadly, a lot of homeowners don’t think that they need to worry about their furnace if their heat is working. Although homeowners don’t need to know much about their furnace, it’s crucial that they pay attention to it. A basic inspection is an excellent place to start. There are some simple questions that homeowners can ask themselves.

What to Look For

Homeowners should check to see if their furnace is making weird noises, and they should also look for water around the boiler portion of the furnace. A tiny drip can cause serious problems. Homeowners should check the general area around their furnace and make sure it’s free of debris.

Belongings should never be stored around a furnace. Paint and cleaning supplies are at an even greater risk of catching fire when placed near a furnace. A lot of products can actually evaporate and cause the parts inside of a furnace to corrode.

It’s very important to have a working carbon monoxide detector near the furnace. If a furnace is not working properly, it can leak carbon monoxide into the home. Most experts as astonished when they learn how many homes don’t have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Hiring a Professional

It’s almost always a good idea to hire a professional. In most cases, it’s not incredibly expensive to hire a licensed and certified technician.

Experts say homeowners should have their furnace inspected annually. A professional at Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air of Palo Alto, CA can inspect a gas furnace and determine if any parts need to be replaced. A lot of furnaces need a new fan belt, air filter or thermocouple.

Tips for Homeowners

During winter, homeowners can use several tips to prevent furnace issues. They should always keep track of the boiler’s water pressure, which should be around 12 or 15 PSI.

It’s also important to check the thermostat and see what it’s set to run at while you’re away from your home. This thermostat setting should not be ignored. With this information, homeowners are better equipped to make sure their heating system will keep their family warm during winter.

Home Projects To Save Money This Winter

As the cold winter months approach, there are certain things that can be done around the home to save money. Heating a home can get expensive, but there are home improvement projects that can cut these costs. Here are some easy tasks that will be good for the budget this winter.

Attic Insulation

When a home feels drafty, it usually means that there is a leak or poor insulation. Commonly, the attic is the place where insulation is needed the most. Adding it to the space can greatly cut heating costs. Minimum code will vary, but usually requires between R-22 and R-49 insulation. To reach into tight spaces, many people will choose a loose fill insulation. This can applied by a homeowner or through an insulation specialist. In the end, the home will retain heat and energy bills will decrease.

Basement Leaks

Basements are another area of the home that can contribute to heat loss and high energy bills in the winter. It is crucial to examine the space, especially the rim joists and sill plates. If this is the case, a person can caulk the edges to seal the items. It may also be necessary to incorporate some sort of insulation as well.

Storm Windows

Most people do not like the idea of storm windows. However, today’s storm windows have been greatly improved over the last few decades. They can be left on windows all through the year. Some come with special coating that cuts heat loss by great amounts. When a home has single panel windows, storm windows are one of the best home improvements that can be done to lower heat loss and lower heating bills in winter.

Space Heaters

When a person is able to lower the thermostat during the winter, money will be saved. This can be difficult, especially during cold months. In order to stay warm, a person may consider using space heaters. Small electric heaters are the simplest way to warm up a space. However, a person will need to lower the home’s thermostat by over five degrees in order to see a savings.

Heating Service

Another simple way to save money this winter us to have an old heating unit replaced. A professional HVAC service will be able to evaluate an old unit and make arrangements when new heater installation is necessary. After the new equipment is in place, it is important to perform heater maintenance each year to keep the unit working properly. It will also extend the life of the unit as well.

All of the above projects will help to make a home more energy efficient and save money. It is important to recognize the likely places where heat has a chance to escape or improvements can be made to make the space more energy efficient. Correcting the problems will be worth the time, especially when heating expenses fall.

Why It Is Important To Have Regular Heating System Maintenance Check In Your Home

The preseason heater check should not be overlooked especially when your heating system has been in use for several years now. Heating systems are prone to wear and tear which may result in decrease of efficiency. This routine heating maintenance is not complicated at all and this can be done by the owner. Of course it is still important to have your heater checked before winter by an HVAC repair specialist.

Advantages of Preseason HVAC Check

Inspection and tuneup of your heating system can help extend its life span. If you have a furnace, you will need to lubricate its motor and blower shafts once every year. If you fail to lubricate it with oil, there will be more friction which can wear down the motor quickly. Regular heating maintenance check also helps in spotting minor repairs and replacements. Replacing the worn out parts is important to keep the heater running smoothly. The worst thing that can happen is that your furnace or HVAC system can just shut down in the middle of winter. This is an emergency situation that no one wants to happen in their home. Checking and tuneup of your heating system is also an effective means of saving money from repair bills. If your heating system breaks down during the winter season, you can have a hard time looking for cheap HVAC repair companies.

Routine Heating System Maintenance Checklist that You can Follow

The first thing that you should do is go around your house and look for any cracks in your doors and windows. During the cold season, you don’t want the heat escaping through those window and door cracks. You need the heat inside your home and not leaking out.

The filter system is very easy to maintain because all you need to do is clean it up. There is no need to call a repair specialist for this job; this is just a simple cleaning task that you can do. If your filter system is already worn out, it would be a good idea to buy a new one. These filters need to be checked every month because dirt and dust can easily clog and accumulate around it.

For furnaces, check if there are any obstructions on its burners. Your furnace may be unable to provide the right heat in your home if there is debris clogging the burners. Furnaces also need to be oiled once every year. If it creates a lot of noise, then it is time to lubricate its motor and blower shafts.

Chimneys should be regularly inspected to prevent any fire accidents. Birds usually like to build nests on chimneys which can be a fire hazard. You can hire a specialist to clean the chimney for you.
Vents and duct systems should also be inspected routinely for any leaks and damages. It should be cleaned and free from any obstructions. The efficiency of your heating system depends on these vents and duct systems.

Upgrading your heating system to a newer and more efficient model can be the right decision for your home. These newer heating systems have modern features that can help you save on energy consumption.

Since winter is just a few weeks from now, you should be doing your preseason heating system check. Remember that heating system checked before winter is always better than calling a specialist to repair it in the middle of the snow season.