Winter is upon us! It can bring joy in many forms, why not bring the joy of money saving into the mix so we can save up a little from our winter shopping endeavors? The worst thing that can happen during a freeze is our heating systems jamming up or becoming inoperable. With these tips and tricks, you can save on the headaches (and chills) that come from the effects of winter heating, HVACs and furnace problems in the winter.
Ease your worries with these winter furnace maintenance tips.
An important one to stress is to make sure you undergo annual inspections of all of your units! Regular inspection can prevent the pitfalls that neglect would have on your entire unit. Problems concerning proper activity, if not inspected regularly, can range in severity depending on the situation.
Here are examples of two scenarios out of many that can arise if your furnace is leaking water in the winter.
- If you have a high-efficiency (PVC/plastic) furnace, it could be that the tubing is damaged or clogged from the condensation it gives off.
- If your system has a humidifier attached to it, the likely reason is that it’s gone faulty. This type of case often arises when your furnace has not been undergoing it’s annual maintenance as it should. If the leak is coupled with the fact that your furnace hasn’t been inspected in years, a bigger issue is the result of your problem and an inspection is recommended immediately as you may need to replace parts altogether.
The best way to avoid any surprising escalations of mishaps are to do routine check-ups, just like humans do with doctors.
During your annual furnace maintenance, be sure to request a winter furnace tune up, some steps of which are listed below.
Furnace Maintenance Checklist
- Have furnace serviced at least once a year (include a tune-up)
- Examine and clean all parts
- Clean air filter, vents, blower & fan
- Check the heat exchanger & metal flue for cracks, rust or holes
- Perform combustion analysis (soot & build up should be removed; look for seam separation, leaks & corrosion which can lead to gas escape)
- Adjust and check gas pressure
- Check and clean the burners
- Check system static pressure
How can I save money on heating in winter?
The first thing to do is scheduling heating maintenance with your local shop. A resolution that can be provided to save can be as simple as cleaning out the dust bunnies in your ducts, just this much of a change will save you big bucks as your unit won’t run as hard.
Want to keep warm but afraid of the implications of cost if you crank the thermostat too high? An ideal average house temperature in winter is recommended to be 68° Fahrenheit. If you want to take baby steps, a good idea is to have your home’s temperature be a few degrees lower than normal in 8 hour intervals.
Other ways of how to conserve heat in your home is by controlling humidity. As winter air is dry naturally, the moisture from your skin evaporates quickly, leaving you feeling more chilly than usual. It is therefore recommended to either install a humidifier for the whole house or in certain rooms. (An added bonus is that is you have dry skin, this will also benefit you in assisting that.) Doing this will additionally allow you to set back the temperatures of your thermostat by a few degrees than normal.
Another option to consider are insulated curtains. They have a reflective film layer that will bounce back heat into the room as well as a vapor blocking coating. These types of curtains will keep cold air away from your windows while also providing a barrier from heat from escaping your home. If you would like to use curtains you already have, an alternative would be to use thick, tightly-woven textiles such as suede, velvet, tapestry, tweed etcetera.
An important thing to keep in mind that is often overlooked is to make sure your roof has proper insulation and your attic proper ventilation. Not only will this allow you to avoid emergency roof repairs that come from ice dams and snow build up that form as a result, these conditions will also evenly distribute and maintain the heat in your home.
Winter HVAC Tips
- Schedule an inspection (have them annually)
- Check your roof’s insulation & attic ventilation
- Comprehensive Duct Inspections (tears & separations that deter ventilation)
- Clean or replace air filters (so unit doesn’t run as hard)
- Cleaning of whole heating unit such as burners, coal and gas valve
- Lower your thermostat by a couple of degrees in 8 hour intervals
- Ideal temperature to set your thermostat is 68° Fahrenheit
- Incorporate humidifiers so you can maintain body heat & lower thermostat
- Install insulated curtains to keep heat in and cold out (or hang thick, tightly-woven textile curtains)
These winter heating tips can save you a lot of repairs, money and time if you are diligent and aware. Inspections are the key to catching neglected problems from escalating into large repairs and replacements. It is recommended that you undergo annual check-ups so you can stay cozy in the winter. If you find yourself questioning anything or if there is an immediate problem, do not hesitate to give us a call at 281-802-0872