How to Get Your Heater Ready For Winter

smart home thermostat for heating and cooling

It’s not winter yet, but it’s coming! Make sure you’re prepared for winter’s wrath by preparing your heating system for the task. With the average low temperature in January being 32 degrees in Lewisville, it stands to reason that you don’t want to be surprised by a heater that suddenly stops working when you need it to work the most.

If you haven’t turned on the heat already, you will be doing that soon when temperatures get lower as we head into November. But turning on your heater without inspecting, cleaning and repairing your HVAC system is just asking for trouble. If you’re handy, you can try a few simple tasks yourself.

If not, it’s best to hire a heating technician in Lewisville to take a look at it for you.

Here’s a checklist to follow to make sure your heating system will be well-prepared to handle winter in this region.

Schedule a Furnace Checkup

The first step should be to call a heating specialist to fine tune your heater and make sure all systems are a go. They can let you know if there are any issues plaguing proper operation, and will outline what repairs should be made now and which ones can wait till later. Now you can turn on your heating system with confidence.

Turn on the Thermostat

Give the heating system a whirl. It’s time to switch from the cooling setting to the heating setting. You can set the temperature a couple degrees higher than the current temperature in the room. The heater should kick on within a minute or so, but if it doesn’t, take off the outlet cover and check for secure wire connections. Take the proper precautions.

If the connections look secure, check that the power source for the HVAC system is on. Still not working? Check the furnace fan, heat pump or blower for obvious signs of damage or wear. Call a professional if you can’t troubleshoot the issue.

Change the Air Filters

Your HVAC system may feature air filters in the system itself, or the air filters may be located behind a vent grill in the ceiling or wall. It will depend on when the home was built, what model you have and what the contractor initially decided to do.

Change the filters every three months or sooner if you smoke or have pets. You don’t have to replace permanent electrostatic filters; just wash them and reuse them. When you clean or replace your filters on a regular basis, you’re doing your part to prevent dust and other particles from infiltrating your HVAC system. This prolongs the life of the system, so you save money over the long term.

It’s wise to change your humidifier filter while you’re at it, as well as set the humidistat if your HVAC model includes a humidifier.

Cover the AC Condenser

If your HVAC is a heat pump, do not cover it because it runs throughout the year. But if it’s not a heat pump, cover the condenser to protect it from falling icicles, snow, tree limbs and other debris. If you don’t have the money to invest in a custom cover, use a large trash can lid instead and secure it with bungee cords. Another alternative is to cover the fan with a board. Just don’t use a plastic tarp, as this can trap moisture.

Clean the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the component responsible for transferring heat between two or more liquids, or between a gas and a liquid. Basically this device transfers thermal energy from one medium to another. Be sure to brush and vacuum the heat exchanger each year, preferably when the unit is disabled, and preferably by a professional. During this cleaning, your technician can be on the lookout for cracks, which could leak carbon monoxide into your home.

Clean and Lubricate the Blower Motor

Take a look at the owner’s manual to ensure your motor is the type that requires lubricating. Not all do. If so, switch off the power, open the cover and then clean the caps that cover the bearings. Lastly, remove the caps, then lubricate the bearings. This will keep everything working smoothly.

Test the Igniter Switch

If you have an older system, you may have to relight the pilot. But if you have a newer system, these use electronic ignitors. If your ignitor is not working, press the reset button. If that does not work, check the breaker. Call a pro if that doesn’t work either.

Inspect the Chimney and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Chimneys gather carbon buildup over time, and they can even accumulate small dead animals. This is why it’s important to periodically inspect your chimney, or hire a chimney sweep to do it. Blocked chimneys can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in the home. At the same time, test or replace all of your carbon monoxide detectors so you are protected from this “silent killer.”

Replace Your Filter and Nozzle

For an oil-powered furnace, change the filter and clean the burner nozzle. Unlike gas-fired systems, oil systems don’t burn as cleanly and they need regular cleanings.

Contact Cold Factor Heating and Air Services

It’s best to give us a call sooner rather than later to book an appointment for heating maintenance, service and cleaning. Our technicians can visit your home or business, inspect your HVAC system, clean it, and make any necessary repairs now before winter hits. This will help your system run more smoothly and efficiently, leading to lower energy bills – which is great when you’re looking to save money in the cold months while staying comfortable.

Book your appointment with us in Lewisville and beyond today when you call (469) 535-6530. We can supply you with a free quote and schedule an inspection, as we are skilled in heating system maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation.

 

 

 

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