7 Steps to Prepare Your Heating System for the Winter

Maintenance is something that no one enjoys doing, especially when it comes to heating systems, but it’s a task that you’ll need to do in order to keep your appliances from deteriorating too quickly – an issue that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. When it comes to a heating system, it’s especially important that you prepare your unit for the winter by paying close attention to the following tips and guidelines. These steps are easy to follow and will help you avoid the frustration of your heating system malfunctioning during the cold winter months:

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The first step of any thorough maintenance for an HVAC system should be with the checking of the carbon monoxide alarms. Massachusetts law states that in most residences, carbon monoxide alarms “are required to be located on every level of a home or dwelling unit, including habitable portions of basements. On levels with sleeping areas, the alarms must be placed within ten feet of the bedroom doors.”  

Be sure to check the expiration date on your carbon monoxide alarm to make sure it isn’t expired. A carbon monoxide alarm that’s more than 10-years old is on the tail-end of its lifetime and is much more susceptible to errors. If your carbon monoxide alarm is expired, it’s important that you replace it with a new one right away. Additionally, if your carbon monoxide alarm is battery powered, you’ll want to install fresh batteries that you can be certain will last through the winter.

Ensure Furnace Area and Exterior Exhausts are Free of Obstructions

In order for a heating system to work properly and efficiently provide heat to the entirety of your home, the furnace area, chimney, and exterior exhausts need to be free of obstructions. If these areas are blocked for any reason, this could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.

Check Your Thermostat and Make Sure It’s Reading the Right Temperature

You always want to be sure that your thermostat is actually reading the right temperature. Otherwise, you run the risk of placing the temperature too high during the winter, causing you to waste a lot of money with your monthly energy bill. You also don’t want to be in a situation where the room is too hot or too cold, believing that your actual heating system is damaged.

To check if your thermostat is working correctly, use a small thermometer to measure the temperatures in your home. For the most accurate readings, tape it on the wall beside your heating system thermostat and wait for 15 minutes before checking to see if the readings match.

Exercise Your System and Make Sure It Is Functioning Properly

One of the best ways to prepare your heating system for the winter is to put it through exercises so that you can note whether or not it changes temperatures on time, heats up the entire home, and transitions to the correct temperature. Take an hour of time out of your day to test your system for proper functionality. It’s easy to do and will ensure that your system is in good condition.

Check For Leaks

When your heating system starts to leak, it will immediately stop working correctly, which is typically accompanied by odd fluctuations in temperature and instances where your home doesn’t heat quickly enough and to the right temperature. If you find that your home is consistently 4-5 degrees colder than the temperature you’re setting the thermostat at, there’s a good chance that it’s because of a leak. Whether your heating system is a furnace or a central heating system, you can usually identify if leaks are occurring by the presence of hissing or whooshing sounds around the system.

Switch the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan to Make Sure It is Rotating Clockwise

Air circulation is essential if you want to keep the air in your home from becoming stale and stuffy. If you have a ceiling fan in your bedroom or living room, you should consider switching the direction of the fan to make sure that it’s rotating clockwise. Doing so at a low speed will cause the air to be drawn up towards the ceiling, resulting in the warm air being pushed down and out towards the walls, which helps to keep your room at a comfortable temperature and aids the heating system.

Schedule An Appointment To Have Your Heating System Serviced Before Winter

Professional HVAC companies start to see an increased demand in service calls as winter commences, which means it’s a great idea to have your heating system serviced ahead of time. Heating systems that are regularly serviced by licensed technicians will function more efficiently and save you money in the future. You’ll want to make sure that the company you hire is an accredited BBB (Better Business Bureau) member with an A+ rating.

We’re Here to Help

We put this checklist into a downloadable PDF for you to use as you check your heating system.

Take this guide with you

Here at Evolved Mechanical, we offer professional tune-ups and seasonal maintenance for all types of systems. If you’re experiencing any difficulties with your heating system in preparation for the winter, we’re happy to help. Please give us a call before the cold temperatures arrive to ensure your system is in optimal working condition!