Here are several things you as a homeowner can do yourself, before calling in a professional from Biard & Crockett!
Make sure your filters are clean. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder than necessary. Change out disposable filters once a month or clean permanent ones regularly. A clean filter prevents dust and dirt from building up in the system.
Check for leaky ducts
Next, inspect ductwork for leaks. Leaky ducts can reduce heating efficiency by up to 30 percent. Tight ductwork delivers warm air directly to living spaces.
Clean your outdoor unit
Outdoor units also need attention before winter. Clear away debris and overgrown vegetation near the condenser. Anything that obstructs airflow lowers the efficiency. Also, cover the unit to protect it from heavy snow or ice. Make sure vents aren’t directing snowmelt directly onto the condenser as well.
Check for blocked vents
Check that all ventilation registers in your home are open and unobstructed. Furniture placed too close to registers blocks proper air circulation. Maintain a clearance of at least 12 to 15 inches. Also, vacuum out each register to remove dust buildup.
Inspect the thermostat
Inspect the thermostat to make sure it’s properly programmed and functioning as intended. If it’s old or faulty, replacing it with a programmable model allows greater control over home temperatures. Newer thermostats also provide energy savings.
Verify insulation levels are adequate in attics, exterior walls, basements, etc. Adding insulation improves efficiency and reduces power bills. The Department of Energy recommends ranges of R-30 to R-60 for attics and R-13 to R-23 for exterior walls. While we don’t offer insulation installation at Biard & Crockett, we still want you in the know about this component of home heating efficiency.
Do a “sniff test”
Before officially flipping the switch for the winter, visually examine the furnace or heat pump system. Look and smell for any evidence of oil leaks, strange noises, or burning smells when operating. Any of these could signal a problem and mean you need to call in a professional HVAC contractor.
Talk to the Heating Experts in Orange County
While do-it-yourself maintenance covers the basics, it’s still smart to have a Biard & Crockett HVAC technician check over your entire system before winter. They have the training to thoroughly inspect, and adjust airflow, test controls, and clean components. This expert heating system tune-up ensures your system is performing at peak efficiency. It also catches minor problems before they become major repairs down the road!