Regular tune-ups and maintenance by a professional are essential for your heater to continue to operate in a safe and efficient manner. But if you put it off for too long, you could end up having to pay for costly repairs, or even needing to replace your heater all together.
These are a few simple things you can do yourself, and some you should make sure to get done by a professional each year, to make sure that your heater keeps working properly and keeps your home nice and toasty during the long, cold Utah winters.
- Clean and/or replace the filter
This is probably one of the most important and most over-looked things in your home. Many people don’t even know what their heater’s filter looks like. If you’re confidant replacing it yourself, you should do so every few months to prevent carbon monoxide and other harmful things from building up in your air supply. If not, just call a pro and they can get you taken care of.
- Check the belt and oil the motor
Unless you’re pretty savvy with HVAC, you should probably leave this one to a professional. A loose belt will decrease your heater’s efficiently (increasing your bill) and oiling the motor will keep it running smooth, preventing break-downs. Be sure to check your manual before attempting a belt replacement or oiling on your own, since different models require different things.
- Check that your vents aren’t blocked
Regularly checking and cleaning all the vents in your home will mean that your heater doesn’t have to work as hard (another money saver). Getting the ducts cleaned once a year is another great way to save on your monthly bill, since dust and other things tend to build up quickly.
- Check your exhaust flue to the outside of your house
This is another one that can be a bit tricky on your own, but you can find the exhaust flue cap near the furnace and water heater. Remove the cap and look through the flue to the outside. You should see a clear path, and if you don’t it will need to be cleaned immediately.
- Give your heater some breathing room
While it’s a given that you shouldn’t leave anything flammable (even boxes or clothes) near your heater, since it can get pretty hot sometimes. You may not know that your heater also needs to have plenty of air around it. Most heaters suck in air to make the combustion possible to heat your home, so if your heater is cramped or surrounded by clutter it may not be operating at peak efficiency.
- Check that your furnace, boiler and water heater have a green sticker
If you live in Utah ad have a gas burning heater, a green sticker indicates that your appliances are properly tuned to burn the local gas supplies and are working properly. This sticker ought to be renewed each year by a licensed professional. This will involve tuning your heater to make sure it is burning fuel efficiently. This will not only save you money (with rising natural gas prices in Utah) but it will make sure you’re minimizing your impact on the environment.
Hopefully you’ve found these tips to be useful and can keep your home and your family nice and warm this winter. Be sure to give us a call for all your HVAC needs!