What should we do to prepare for home heating season before the cold weather creeps down from the north? Well, there’s many thing but today we will concentrate on just a few. So as the cold weather approaches have your furnace checked out. If you have gas heat or any gas appliances make sure you have at least one working carbon monoxide detector (more is better). Have your chimney inspected by a professional and cleaned if necessary. To reduce drafts replacing any worn or missing weather striping.
Make sure your furnace is operating properly and efficiently. The best thing you can do is to have a professional heating contractor give your heating system a thorough servicing. If you do consider using a professional, why not have all your gas appliances checked to make sure they are operating safely. You’ll want to have them clean your heating system and check your heat exchanger (for gas furnaces) which are largely concealed and require a professional to verify they are safe and void of any safety defects. If you have a humidifier make sure that is also clean and operating properly.
Change your furnace filter monthly for standard 1” and 2” filters or at least look at it. Put it in your calendar as a recurring event so you don’t forget. If your using the flat style filter consider upgrading to a pleated one. They do a much better job and some say that they increase the energy efficiency of your furnace. Move the stuff that you have stored next to your furnace especially anything combustible for safety reasons. If your furnace malfunctions or gets too hot you don’t want your house catching on fire. Make sure your vents (supply, return and combustion air) are clear and nothing is blocking them restricting air flow.
What ever type of home heating system (forced air, gas, electric, hot-water, steam heat, a heat pump or all electric system) you have you’ll still want to have your system serviced and prepared for the winter months. With radiators in addition to normal boiler maintenance you may need to have the hot water system radiators bled for peek performance. With all electric you’ll want to make sure the heating elements and sequencers are checked by HVAC contractor or licensed electrician in addition to normal furnace maintenance.To prevent drafts and help reduce your energy bills you might consider checking the weatherstripping around and under your doors and windows, plus caulk any gaps around pipes and wires the penetrate the exterior of your house. Sealing up those gaps around your doors and windows can help reduce drafts and make your house more comfortable. Make sure and choose the right type of weatherstripping for the specific application. If you have older style non single pane windows you might consider sealing the interior of the window up with a product like the 3M heat shrinkable UV protective window film.