Northern California heating systems see a lot of use every winter, when the temperatures drop and we look for ways to keep our homes cozy and comfortable
A reliable heater can be your best friend during those cold months, and most people assume they have to pay high heating costs in order to get that. But it’s not necessarily so. You can take steps to maximize your heater’s efficiency, dropping those costs while still delivering the heat you want.
In order to get the most out of your heating system, start taking some steps now to ensure an efficient and problem-free heating season this winter.
Schedule Professional Heating Maintenance
In the first place, schedule routine maintenance from a professional as soon as possible after the summer ends. Dust and dirt can build up in the warm months when you don’t use your heater, and worn parts probably haven’t been replaced since last year’s heating season ended.
A heating tune-up from a trained professional can fix all of those little problems, which reduces strain on the system and lowers the amount of energy it uses to warm your home. Your technician will also make sure dangerous combustion gases, such as carbon monoxide, are safely venting outside.
Sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan so you never forget about the important task of scheduling tune-ups for your heating and cooling systems.
Seal Common Air Leaks
Instead of heating the whole neighborhood, you’ll want to seal common air leaks around the home to keep the expensive heat inside. The most common air leaks are found around doors and windows. The more air leaks you have, the harder and longer your heater has to work to get the job done. The more your house is sealed, the better it will retain all that cozy warm air. Learn how to seal air duct leaks.
Change Filters and Bleed Radiator
Set reminders to check your air filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to clean or replace it. When you put in a new filter, write the date of replacement on the filter itself so you know exactly how long it’s been in use. By regularly changing your filter, you will improve your home’s indoor air quality and reduce strain on your HVAC system. Also, make sure that all of your vents and registers are open and unobstructed.
If you have a radiator, remember that you need to “bleed” them at the beginning of every heating season. As soon as water starts coming out, not air, close the valve and move on to the next one.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Protection
In addition to scheduling annual furnace maintenance in the fall, it’s important to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every 30 days to make sure they are working properly. Home fires and CO poisoning increases during the winter months when families are relying on heating systems to stay warm.
Follow all safety instructions and make sure you have working smoke and CO detectors on every floor of the home and outside of every sleeping area.
If you have a fireplace and chimney, don’t forget to get it inspected and cleaned every year. Creosote buildup in chimney is a common cause of home fire.
Upgrades (Thermostats, Zone Control, and Fans)
Finally, if your home and system merits it, think about adding upgrades to your system to increase its versatility and efficiency. For instance, if you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable or smart thermostat. Similarly, a zone control system lets you tailor the temperature to different parts of the house. In this case, it divides your home into separate sections that you can heat individually as you wish. That lets you heat the parts of the house you’re occupying while leaving the rest be, which means the heater uses less energy.
Additionally, fans can help you feel warmer by pushing the hot air near the ceiling down to the living spaces below. To switch the direction of your ceiling fan, simply flip the little black switch located on the base of the ceiling fan. Upgrades like these can further lower the cost of your bills while allowing you greater control over how your home is heated.
While you may think that high energy bills and discomfort are just part of the season, they don’t have to be. With simple planning and a little foresight, you can cut costs without diminishing from the comfort level of your home.
For heating help in California, contact Service Champions to set up an appointment.