Although it may not seem like it, it’s crucial to prepare your home for the cooler months even when it’s still the dog days of summer. Depending on where you live, the colder days can approach faster than you’d expect. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you are preparing your heater for cooler weather.
We’ll give tips on maintaining your heating units as well as replacing them if necessary.
Inspecting Your Current System
Before you even begin to determine whether your heating units need professional maintenance or replacement, you need to inspect the system first.
You may be experienced enough with your furnace or boiler to do this yourself, but generally it is a much better idea to hire a professional to inspect it for you. An HVAC expert will have the experience and knowledge to find any issues that could be missed when the average person takes a look.
Here’s a general list of the things the HVAC professional will do:
- Clean both the interior and exterior of your furnace or boiler to prevent any debris from disrupting the airflow and function;
- Replace any filters to maintain excellent air quality in the home;
- Repair any leaks or other damage that your unit may have;
It’s also recommended that your entire ventilation unit is cleaned. Despite the unit and filters being cleaned or replaced, you’ll still face debris throughout the rest of the ventilation system.
Preparations You Can Do Yourself
Like previously mentioned, there are some ways that you can prepare your furnace without the help of a professional. These steps include:
- Regularly changing your filters. Some units might suggest every three months, while others may suggest every month. As a general rule, you should check the filter every month to see whether it could use a replacement;
- Stocking up on filters to prepare for their regular replacements (Tip: you are likely to find a discount on furnace filters during the summer!);
- Ensuring that there is nothing surrounding your furnace or heaters, as having items on top of or in front of vents can be a fire hazard;
- Filling up your gas furnace by contacting your gas company. Just like buying the filters, you are likely to get a discount in the summer;
- Bleeding the valves of hot-water radiators. You do this by slightly opening the valves and then closing them again once water appears;
Giving Your System a Test Run
It’s ideal to turn your heating units on for a short amount of time so you can check that everything is running as it should. If you wait until the cold weather finally hits to run your heater for the first time, you could be stuck huddling under blankets if your heater isn’t functioning properly.
While your heater is on its test run, you should look out for any unexpected smells or noises. Depending on what kind of heating system you have, certain smells or sounds could be normal. What you want to look out for is an abnormal sound or smell. When in doubt, you should reach out to a professional.
Knowing When Your Heater Need Replaced
Fortunately, there are some pretty obvious signs that you’re in need of a new unit before winter arrives. A professional who inspects your heater can tell you this, but there are also some signs you can notice on your own.
- Your energy bills are higher than normal;
- There are strange noises and smells;
- Your home can’t reach the right temperature;
- The air in your home is either too dry or too humid;
If you notice any of these issues with your HVAC unit, you are likely in need of a replacement.
The last thing you want during the colder months is to realize that your heating doesn’t work properly and you’re stuck in the cold until you can get repairs. By inspecting your unit yourself or with the help of a professional, you’re ensuring that you can survive the upcoming cold by being nice and cozy indoors.