As winter comes to a close, it’s easy to neglect your heating system and turn your attention to your air conditioner. In fact, we hope you’re thinking about your cooling system, since now is the perfect time to schedule AC maintenance. However, if you have an aging heater or if you skipped maintenance, we encourage you to follow a few care tips, like those we’ve listed below, before shutting off your heater for the season.
Remember, ignoring any sort of heating problem won’t make it go away. In fact, neglecting it until next fall when you need your heater again can do more harm than good. Read on for how to properly keep your heater in good shape as the season comes to a close.
Change the Air Filter
Many homeowners still believe that the air filter that came standard with their HVAC system is to improve indoor air quality. While it certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, this is not the air filter’s intended purpose. Your air filter is in place to protect the HVAC system itself from dirt and debris that can impact its performance. You should be changing it out every 1–3 months during periods of HVAC system use.
Watch for Symptoms of Heater Malfunction
Whether or not you had heating maintenance done at the beginning of the heating season (and we hope you did), it’s important to be aware of the signs of a heating system in disrepair. These signs include:
- A Drafty Home: if you’ve noticed your home isn’t heating up as fast as it once did, or you’ve noticed cold spots in certain areas, it could be that your heater is declining in power or overall performance. Alternatively, it could be that you have leaky ductwork. No matter the cause, this is something that should be managed ASAP.
- Strange Noises: No matter how minor a noise may seem, if your heater is making a sound you’ve never heard before then it should be cause for concern. A few sounds in particular that should warrant a repair call right away include a mechanical banging or clanging, hissing or clicking, and even just general noisy operation.
- Higher Utility Bills: A spike in your heating bills over the winter months is to be expected. However, what you shouldn’t see is a sudden rise in them, or a dramatic increase over what you paid last year. If you do notice this, it’s a sign that your heater isn’t working as efficiently as it once did.
- Short-Cycling: This describes the process in which your heater turns on and off rapidly, without ever completing a full heating cycle. This is inefficient and will end up costing you in the long run. Additionally, your heater won’t last as long as it is designed to if short-cycling is allowed to continue indefinitely.
Schedule Maintenance If You Skipped It
The ideal time to have heating maintenance done is typically the fall, before you need your heating system the most. But aside from a total system breakdown, it’s really never too late to have system maintenance done. If you skipped this year, give us a call to get it on your schedule now. We’ll thoroughly clean your system, adjust components that need it, and alert you to repair needs, such as those we mentioned above.