Heater Maintenance Tips to Get You Through the Winter

Proper heater maintenance will ensure that you and your family stay warm and cozy throughout the winter months. There’s nothing worse than a heating system that’s not working right on a cold winter night. Here’s a list of things that you should check on to keep your heating system in good condition for the chillier months. With the proper maintenance, your heating system will everyone warm, run more efficiently and last a lot longer. Just like a car needs to be maintained, so does your home’s heating system.

Check the Furnace Filter

A clean filter will keep your heating system operating well and with efficiency. The filter should be replaced about every 30 to 90 days, depending on how often you use the heat. Dirty filters just make the heating system have to work harder and longer. Be sure to stock up on furnace filters for the winter, so you’re prepared for those cold nights.  You can also ask your HVAC technician if you’re using the proper filter on a maintenance visit.

Flush Out the Hot Water Tank

Flushing out the hot water tank will remove sediment that could impede the operation of your HVAC system. Over time, debris builds up in your heating system and it has to be flushed out. You can also check the pressure relief valve to ensure it’s in good working order.

Clean the Humidifier

The home humidifier is a critical part of the heating system. Maintaining the right amount of humidity inside your house keeps the air quality good and your heating system operating well. Be sure to change the evaporator pad, too.

Bleed Radiator Valves

If your home has a hot water radiator, it’s important to bleed the valves. This helps remove trapped air. When you bleed the valves, it helps your heating system operate better. Just open the valves a little bit and close them when the water starts to leak.

Keep the Furnace Area Clean

Proper airflow is essential for your heating system to work properly. Remove items block any vents or air duct registers. Remove stored items that are close to your heating system and move them away from the unit. With proper airflow, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to provide heat for your home.

Inspect for Leaks

Take a good look around the air ducts. Do a thorough inspection.  Are there any loose joints, leaks or holes? If so, do some ductwork repair or call a professional to do it for you. This will prevent warm air from escaping and keep your heating system operating at its top performance.

Check the Thermostat

Don’t just assume that the thermostat is working properly. Test it out. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees. You should hear the heater turn and then feel some warm air coming out. Be sure to check the thermostat before winter rolls in. If it’s time for a new thermostat, go ahead and invest in one.

Clean the Outside Unit

Your heating system is not just operating inside your house. It draws air from the exterior, warms it up and then distributes the warm air inside your home. Remove debris from the outside unit from all of the elements, including leaves.  It will only block and stall the air intake. And if it snows, shovel it away from the unit, so the unit can breathe. The outdoor unit should always be clean and free of debris.

Clean and Unblock Vents

Heat won’t come from the ducts if the vents are blocked. And the built-up heat can cause damage to your hearing system. Be sure t dust and unblock all vents from things like pet hair and other types of blockages. This way, the warm air can flow freely into the rooms.

Fix Crack and Holes

It’s important that your heating system doesn’t have to overwork in the wintertime. The warm air that constantly escapes from drafty windows and cracks in the walls will force your heating system to have to work harder. So, plug up any cracks or holes. You can plug holes with caulk and cover drafty windows with plastic. This will help the home retain heat and lessen the load on your heating system.

Get a Winter Tune-Up

Getting a winter tune is well worth the investment. During a tune-up, all ductwork and airflow are checked, gas pressure and gas leaks are tested, electrical controls are inspected, the thermostat is tested and air temperature tests at vents are done. A winter tune-up for your heating system is the ideal way to maintain your heating unit. Plus, it’s best to know if any repairs are needed before things breakdown on a cold night.

If you don’t properly maintain your heating system, it just might not make it through the winter. Follow this list of maintenance steps to take and stay warm this winter.