So you’ve planted those Spring bulbs, cleaned your gutters, packed up the patio cushions, stocked the bar for the Holidays and made sure your fireplace was safe for romantic power outage blazing. What else do you need to address on your “Winter To Do” list? Heat! For many homes in the NW the main heat source is a gas or oil fired furnace. Taking care of this integral part of your home heating system is essential for making sure you and your loved ones can stay nice and toasty all winter long.
There are plenty of DIY blogs about what you can do yourself to check the most important parts of your furnace and keep it cleaned up and ready to take on winter. We do strongly suggest you have a heating professional come inspect your furnace as well. First, because well, they’re a professional and can handle anything that might be need fixing. Especially, if the pilot light is out or there are some major mechanical issue or there is a fuel leak. Second, if you have a gas furnace you want to make absolutely sure it is running well since gas leaks from a poorly functioning gas furnace could be extremely dangerous. Most heating professionals only cost around $150 for a basic service call. This is worth the money when your family’s safety and cold toes are involved!
If all is well with your furnace, make sure you replace the filter before you start it up for the winter and keep it changed monthly to ensure good air quality. Check the filter you have in place for the proper specifications for a proper fit and install it correctly. Furnace filters range from disposable fiberglass and polyester/cotton paper to disposable and permanent electrostatic versions or a high efficiency pleated type. Depending on your needs at home for air quality, you will want to research the best option for you.
Checking and cleaning your air ducts will also help with furnace efficiency, regular duct cleaning is not necessary. Often, you can do what’s needed yourself by vacuum-cleaning the registers and grilles. Remove them and clean inside as far as you can reach. Then, using a flashlight and mirror, examine what you can of the ducts. If you see an accumulation of debris, have the ducts cleaned. Duct cleaning should be done more so on an as needed basis. If you’re in a newly constructed or remodeled home or if you just purchased a home and don’t know if the ducts have been cleaned or have lived in your home for 10 years or more and haven’t had them cleaned – it might be a good idea to call a professional.
Last but certainly not least, automate your furnace and heating system! Chez Diva has its own Nest thermostat. Have you seen this beauty? Installation takes 30 minutes, it can sense when you’re around and within a week of use it will program itself to your comfort levels. Imagine waking up and going about your day without ever having to check or adjust the thermostat. You can even tell it how to adjust from your phone and get alerts if it’s too cold or if your furnace is acting up. Having a Nest can greatly increase your energy efficiency and savings. You can even review your usage and adjust it to maximize your benefits.
That’s our Diva Fall Tip on home forced air heating. If you need more advanced help with finding a professional to help with your furnace – don’t hesitate to contact the Divas. We may not be furnace experts but we know folks who are and will happily pass on their information!