December 4, 2019

Heating System Checklist: What to Do Yourself vs When to Call the Experts

When it comes to maintaining your heating system, sometimes homeowners can be left out in the cold – literally and figuratively. This winter, prepare yourself by knowing what you can do yourself and what you’ll need an expert to do for you when it comes to your heating repairs and heating maintenance. 

What You Can Maintain Yourself

Not everything needs to be done by the experts. As a homeowner, maintaining your home heating system can be simply and easy as long as you have a plan. Use this checklist below to see what you can do before the experts arrive to check your heating system. 

  • Check the Furnace Filter – You would never run your car with an old oil filter and the same applies to your heating system. A new filter is the simplest way to keep your home heating system in tip top shape.   
  • Keep Furnace Area Clean and Clear – If the furnace area is kept clean, there will be less of a chance that debris and outside elements can damage the machine or worse – catch on fire.  Also, if a repair needs to be done to your heating system quickly, a clear area can allow the experts to reach your machine in a timely manner. 
  • Check Alarms – with increased use of your heating furnace, your carbon monoxide alarms should always be up to date as well as your smoke alarms in case of a fire. Checking that your alarms are properly functioning can give you piece of mind about your family’s safety this winter.  
  • Switch fan direction – switching the directions of your fans can help keep hot air lying low and therefore you’ll use less energy to heat your home. 
  • Check thermostat – make sure that your thermostat is working properly. Investing in a new smart thermostat can lower your bill by making sure your heating system is running only when truly needed. 

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When You Should Call an Expert

Even if you keep your heating system in good repair yourself, you should still call the experts to survey the following things because they can go unseen or unnoticed by the average person. 

  • System cleaning – Every heating system requires a deep cleaning to ensure that all parts of the machine are up to par. Because of the delicate nature of this cleaning, you will need an expert who knows the in’s and out’s of heating systems and heating furnaces to execute the cleaning. 
  • Replace parts – A bad apple can ruin the bunch and that’s the same for your home heating system. One bad part can compromise the whole system. Attempting to replace the part yourself could quickly become complicated so an expert should do this for you. 
  • Shut down your AC system – When your AC system isn’t in use, it should be shut down in order to preserve the integrity of the machine. Make sure the unit outside is covered and protected from the outside elements. 
  • Flush your hot water tank – Sediment can build up in your system so a yearly flush is essential to keeping your system working at its best. 
  • Check for leaks – Leaks can go unseen until they either cause extensive damage to your heating system/home or until the leak turns into a flood. An expert knows what to look for and can catch small leaks before they become a larger issue. 
  • Take a look at the chimney – the chimney ensures proper ventilation for your heating system. Having your chimney maintained is crucial to the running of your heating furnace. 

After checking off your to-do list of things you can take care of yourself, schedule your regular home system maintenance check with a trusted professional to keep your home heating system running at its best this winter season.