Pennsylvania experiences harsh winter conditions, with temperatures often dropping well below the freezing point. During…
The start of a new year is all about making improvements and changes, and one practical area to improve is the way that you care for your home’s heating system. When it comes to your heater, a little bit of time, effort and care can really go a long way toward getting the best possible results from the equipment. If you add a few simple maintenance steps to your routine in this upcoming year, you will be setting yourself up to save money, be consistently comfortable and get many good and healthy years out of your furnace. Here are a few wise resolutions.
1. Minimize Escaped Heat
Although minimizing the amount of heat that escapes from your home isn’t something you do to your heater directly, it will certainly make a difference in the unit’s health and efficiency. When warmth is regularly finding ways out of your home, your heating system is forced to compensate for it by working harder and burning more energy. That extra strain is bad for the appliance and makes a breakdown or malfunction significantly more likely. A good first step to take toward preventing this is to locate and seal up any air leaks in your residence. These leaks will usually show up around the edges of your doors and windows, and they can be a major source of warm air escaping as cold air is entering. This year, try to make a habit of inspecting your household for these leaks on a regular basis. If you find any, you can either seal them up yourself using caulking from the hardware store, or you can bring in a trained professional to find and seal them instead.
Another effective measure is adding insulation to your attic. Warm air rises, so if you don’t have that layer of protection between your attic and your roofing, there’s a very good chance that lots of heat is going to float upwards and escape. Although it is relatively costly and does require professional installation, spray foam insulation is an excellent option to create a heat-trapping barrier in your attic. Remember: the more heat you’re able to keep trapped inside, the less strain there will be on your heater. One more way to achieve this is by using your home’s curtains strategically. Since windows and glass doorways are a major culprit when it comes to letting heat escape, covering them with the thick fabric of curtains can have a large impact on the warmth of your household. That being said, you only want to keep them closed at night and when it’s cold outside. When the sun is shining and warm, keeping them wide open will actually be more helpful because it will allow natural heat to flood into your home.
2. Schedule Professional Maintenance
There is perhaps nothing more beneficial for your heater than staying consistent with scheduled professional maintenance visits. During these visits, your heating technician will conduct a thorough inspection of your furnace. They will be searching for any adjustments they can make to improve the unit’s energy efficiency and ability to heat your home. They will also be looking for any components that are in danger of wearing out or malfunctioning. If they’re able to locate any potential upcoming problems, they will go over the best path forward with you and determine if there are any preventative measures to be taken. In certain cases, you may even be able to get ahead of an issue and have it repaired before it gets the chance to turn into a major problem.
These maintenance tune-ups should be scheduled on a yearly basis and viewed as an investment in your home. Keeping up with them will result in more consistent heating, reduced energy bills, better indoor air quality and a longer, healthier lifespan for your heater.
3. Provide Your Heater With Frequent Rest
The last thing you want to do is overwork your heater. When the heating system starts to wear out, its effectiveness and efficiency will both drop. As a result, your comfort and financial situation will both be negatively affected. However, if you can find even short periods on a regular basis to let your furnace rest, it should be enough to keep it healthy and operating near peak efficiency.
This year, consider lowering your thermostat by five to ten degrees Fahrenheit every night as you’re going to bed. If you’re under the blankets, you shouldn’t need the heater to be working hard to keep your entire house warm. Five to ten degrees may not seem like much, but lowering the temperature for seven or eight hours on a nightly basis can add up to a lot of rest for your heating system.
Utilizing a ceiling fan is another good way to take some pressure off of your furnace. As mentioned above, warm air rises. This means that a lot of the heat in your home is being wasted by hovering around your ceiling. However, if you have a ceiling fan operating at a low speed, it will push quite a bit of that warmth back down to where you can benefit from it. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the simplest option, try to create a habit of dressing a bit more warmly when you’re hanging out at home. Throwing on a sweatshirt or other warm clothing every now and then should allow you to lower the thermostat a bit while remaining comfortable.
4. Have Your Ducts Cleaned Regularly
Without ductwork, your heater would have no way of transferring heat around the different parts of your house. When the air ducts are clean, the furnace has an open pathway to circulate that clean, warm air. However, particles of dust, dirt and debris are likely to build up inside those ducts as time passes. The more these particles accumulate, the more clogged up those pathways are going to become. This means that your heater will have to exert more and more energy just to do its job effectively. Typically, it also results in a lot of that dust and debris getting mixed in with the air you’re breathing, which is never good for your health or comfort.
Fortunately, all you need to do to avoid these issues is occasionally schedule a ductwork inspection. The local professional you hire will be able to clean the ductwork and check it for any damage or leaks. If you create a routine of doing this at least once a year, your heater will thank you in the form of better results.
Our team at IT Landes has been providing Montgomery and Bucks counties with high-quality heating, cooling, plumbing, fuel oil, and air quality services since way back in 1929. We’re located in Harleysville, PA, and we serve the entire surrounding area. Our experts take pride in providing our customers with professional, dependable and affordable home comfort. For nearly four generations, local residents have trusted us to handle their household needs with care and dedication, and we look forward to continuing to build our reputation for many years to come.
Give us a call at IT Landes to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.