Huddling near the fireplace with friends and family. Settling in your favourite chair with a good read and a cup of hot chocolate. Curling up cosily in bed with the intention of disobeying the morning alarm. Stretching your hands in the gentle shower of falling snow. Your plans for winter will bring you even more joy if your heating system does its job without a glitch, all through the season. At Boyle Energy, we’ve spent over 80 winters helping our customers keep their homes and lives warm, comfortable and enlivening with our certified and professional HVAC services. Here, we bring you an essential prep-list to get your HVAC system fully ready, well before winter announces its arrival.
1. Check the air filter and vents
It’s a natural human tendency. We regularly clean places that are in plain sight and leave out areas that aren’t. The filtering system of your HVAC unfortunately, is one of those places that don’t come in the way of both your vision and your vacuum. A clogged filter therefore, is one of the commonest reasons for an HVAC breakdown. You can rule out this issue by checking your filter once a month and replacing it every three months. Also check and clean the air vents throughout your home to prevent ventilation blockages.
2. Test your furnace before the cold arrives
The power of foresight can be a lifesaver, in a world that’s uncertain. Turn on your furnace a minimum of three times while the climate outside is still mild. Make sure you turn the thermostat to the temperature that you’ll want your home to be heated to, on the coldest of days. If your heating system performs flawlessly through this test, great! If it doesn’t, you’ll have ample time to get things fixed, and that too at non-seasonal rates, before winter snows in.
3. Plug the leaks in your insulation
Even a well-operating heating system may seem ‘inefficient’ or ‘incapable’, when the real culprit may be an unseen gap (or a few!) that lets in the cold winter air without anyone knowing. So, in addition to checking the performance of your furnace, also run a check around your home for leaks and gaps in your insulation. Areas like doors, windows and the attic should be among the first places to inspect, preferably through the trained eye of a local HVAC expert.
4. Create even climate zones
Heat rises and cold settles. We’re sure you wouldn’t want this theory playing out in your home, leaving you with upper storey spaces that are warmer and cosier than the ground level ones. You could avoid this unevenness the classic way: close a few vents on your upper floor which’ll force the heat to flow downstairs or the modern way: install a climate zone system that you can program to set comfortable temperatures throughout your home.
5. Clean the area around the furnace
Like us people, machines get impacted too when their environments get ‘claustrophobic’. Make sure to check the furnace area, be it in the attic, garage, or any other spot inside or outside your home, to ensure there’s a 3-foot clearance around the entire area. Keeping the surrounding area free will allow your furnace to ‘breathe’ better, without anything obstructing its airflow and catalysing a breakdown.
6. Have a maintenance check done
A yearly check-up makes as much sense for humans as it does for machines like your HVAC system. There may be issues that are not visible to you, but would surely get picked up by an alert and trained HVAC maintenance expert. Identifying these issues in time could help you prevent situations way more serious than a heating malfunction in or around your home. If you haven’t had an annual maintenance check done already, it would be a good idea to schedule one right way.
We trust this compilation of tips will help you gear your HVAC system and keep the joys and experiences of your home from dropping along with the temperature this winter. If you need more detailed information or a visit from our qualified and professional HVAC experts to help you tune up for the winter ahead, do give us a call. And we’ll help you with the expertise and personal touch that has made Boyle Energy a household name in HVAC services across homes in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs.