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Get Ready for Winter: Tips for Turning on Your Heater

Get Ready for Winter: Tips for Turning on Your HeaterBefore turning on your heater for that first cold snap, spend a little time making sure it’s clean and fully operational. You can do some of it yourself and schedule seasonal maintenance with your HVAC contractor. Both are important to keep your system running as efficiently and safely as possible.

Check the air filter.

If it’s clogged, replace it with a fresh one. Running your furnace with a dirty filter will increase the length of time it has to run, which drives up heating costs. Once the filter is too dirty, it might trigger a safety switch that turns the furnace off because of inadequate airflow through the air handler.

Walk through your home and look at the condition of the register covers.

If they’re dirty, wipe them off or vacuum with the brush attachment. Excessive buildup on the registers will circulate the dust on them, lowering air quality. The buildup also reduces the amount of air entering the room.

Excessive dust can also indicate a leaking duct that needs immediate attention. Leaking ducts lose the air you’ve paid to heat and pull in dust and debris. If you have a gas water heater, there’s a possibility that duct leaks can backdraft carbon monoxide into your home’s air. If you fix them, use metal tape or mastic to seal them. Duct tape loses its adhesive qualities quickly in high heat environments.

What the Pros Do

When the HVAC technicians maintain your system, they inspect, adjust and clean all the parts. They’ll make sure that the safety switches for gas furnaces work as intended before turning on your heater and that the gas line coming into the furnace is tight and leak-free. Other checks include:

  • Testing for CO emissions.
  • Verifying that the flue is clear and not blocked.
  • Inspecting the condition of the blower, burner and the heat exchanger.

After months of sitting idle, it’s important to schedule maintenance before turning on your heater in the fall. For more information, contact Beyer Boys, providing HVAC services for San Antonio homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).