You cannot just merely fire up your heater when the first cold days hit. There are other steps to take first, and things you need to know about heating care in Visalia, CA. Performing these tasks ensures that your heater will run consistently this season and avoid having major repair needs. Here are the six steps in furnace care before you run the heat:
- Check AC system pressure: This may seem like a weird tip when discussing heaters, but it can save time and expense later. Besides, you likely do not want to start up your AC next summer only to find it does not work. If you check the AC pressure now, you can find unidentified leaks. Shoring up the leaks now will actually help your heater run better in winter and allow a safe seasonal retirement for your AC. Otherwise, it is likely the leaks will only become worse during the cold weather and make your heating system less efficient.
- Clean filters and components: You might as well start with a clean-running furnace. Using canned air and your vacuum cleaner, clean the filters and remove dust from coils and other components of your heater. This will aid air flow and even prevent fires. It is also likely that you will notice lower utility bills this season, since a clean furnace runs better than a dirty one.
- Install a new filter: If your furnace contains a disposable filter, change them out before running the heat. Even if you changed the filter at the start of summer, it is likely that it will be covered in dust and debris. If you cannot clean it all off, replace the filter and enjoy cleaner air this winter. From that point forward, replace your filter every one to three months. Homes with pets should consider a monthly replacement schedule.
- Test thermostat: Once temperatures are low enough, turn the thermostat to heat mode and see if it activates. If it fails to respond or responds slowly, contact an HVAC professional.
- Prepare carbon monoxide detectors: Like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors save lives. If you do not own them yet, install them this year. If you do have them, this is a good time to ensure they will work for you this season. Change the batteries and test the alarm sound. If you have been feeling tired or suffer headaches after turning on the heat, there is a chance you have a carbon monoxide leak and have a dangerous condition in your home. Call an HVAC professional immediately and consider installing or replacing carbon monoxide detectors.
- Check doors and windows: Much of your heating bill could be paying to heat the outside if you have leaking doors and windows. Check for proper sealing and see if there are drafts. If so, start sealing them before the coldest temperatures begin. This will reduce your heating costs.