If you want to become a more proactive homeowner, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start shifting your routines when it comes to appliance care. One of the most important appliances in your home is undoubtedly your heater, especially during these cold winter months when our part of Nova Scotia gets especially chilly. If you can make a commitment now to establish the right habits to keep your heating system in the best possible shape, there’s no doubt that it will respond by keeping you warm and saving you money for many years to come. Here are a few resolutions you should make concerning your heater.
Replace the Air Filter
One of your goals should be to get in the routine of checking on your furnace’s air filter at least once a month. If it’s neglected for much longer than that, it’s inevitable that harmful and disruptive particles will accumulate on and in the filter. All of this dust, dirt, pet dander and other debris will build up to the point of clogging the filter, which can be damaging to your heating system and the air you’re breathing. For one thing, your heater needs to be able to pull air through the filter smoothly and consistently. Otherwise, your furnace will waste energy and wear itself down through all the extra strain. If you check the filter regularly enough, there may be times when a thorough cleaning is sufficient, but you should not hesitate to switch it out for a new one if it’s especially dirty.
Clean Your Vents
You’re probably aware of the air vents spread around your house, but have you ever taken the time to clean them out? Many homeowners neglect this task, but giving them regular attention can make life much easier for your heater. These vents are used to distribute warm air into the different parts of your home, but they are also susceptible to the buildup of dust and debris over time. As you can imagine, when those vents are filled with pollutants and irritants, it’s unfortunately very easy for the air that’s being circulated to blend with the dust and debris. This lowers the quality of your indoor air and can result in respiratory issues. Additionally, if enough of that dust and dirt accumulates, it will start to close up the pathways that your heater needs to do its job. This forces the furnace to create more air pressure, which puts unnecessary strain on it and costs you more money on energy.
Try to make a habit of cleaning these vents once a month. All you need to do is remove their protective covers with a screwdriver. Once you’ve done that, use a long vacuum extension hose to remove as many particles as possible.
Schedule a Tune-Up
Regular maintenance for your heater is one thing you absolutely don’t want to skip. As your heating system gets older and takes on more wear and tear, it needs occasional tune-ups by heating professionals to keep its effectiveness and efficiency from declining too much. Scheduling at least one maintenance visit each year will also increase its lifespan, greatly reduce the likelihood of a breakdown and ensure that the system is operating safely. You should start to notice the benefits almost immediately in the form of more consistent comfort and money saved on your heating bills.
Schedule a Ductwork Inspection
Your heater works in tandem with several other parts of your home to do its job, and your ductwork has a very important role. These air ducts serve as the pathway that your heating system utilizes to circulate the warm air that keeps you comfortable. However, if these ducts get too dirty or they have leaks or damage, the situation will negatively impact your heater’s ability to distribute warm air. In some cases, these ducts can become so dirty and clogged that they barely contain enough space for your furnace to push heat through. Leaks present a similar problem because the heat that they let escape has to be compensated for by the heater. Either way, your furnace is the one having to do the extra work, which is harmful to its health as well as your finances.
Bringing in a local professional to clean and inspect your ductwork can provide all of the following benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air
- Reduced risk of fire
- Lower monthly utility bills
- Better overall HVAC health
- Reduced chance of mould or mildew
Take Some Pressure Off of Your Heater
You may have noticed that when you rely on your heater constantly, its effectiveness gradually starts to decline. Even a heating system that’s well cared for and maintained can only take so much strain before it starts to be problematic. Instead of having your thermostat turned up 24/7 during the winter months, use the new year as motivation to find other ways to stay warm.
One easy option is to add an extra layer of clothing to what you wear when hanging around the house. If you’ve got a sweatshirt and long pants on, you shouldn’t need the heater to be using up extra energy. Additionally, try turning your heater down a bit at night when you go to sleep. If you’re sleeping for seven or eight hours every night, allowing your heating system to rest some too can add up to a positive difference. Making use of a ceiling fan is another way to take pressure off of your heater. Heat in your home rises, but a ceiling fan can push a lot of that warmth back down to where you can benefit from it.
Don’t underestimate the difference your curtains can make either. If you have fabric curtains covering your windows and glass doors, closing them can prevent a significant amount of heat from escaping. This is especially effective with curtains made from thicker material. Remember that when you let warmth escape your household, your heater has to work harder and strain itself to replace it. For the best results, keep your curtains open when the sun is shining, but keep all of them closed in the evening and when it’s cold outside.
Our professionals at Shines Energy have been proudly serving the Greater Dartmouth area since 2013. We offer a wide variety of quality services to our customers, including heating, air conditioning and indoor air quality installation, maintenance and repair. We also handle water heaters, UV lights, refrigeration, sheet metal and more. We believe that you deserve a home comfort provider you can rely on, and we’re proud to meet that need. Our business is Red Seal Certified, and we’re certified by the BBB with an A+ rating. With every job we do, we aim to exceed your expectations. Our business is locally owned and operated, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the residents of this area for decades to come.
Your comfort and safety are always our top priorities. Contact us at Shines Energy today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.