When temperatures fall, you rely on your heating system to keep your home warm and cozy. A malfunctioning heating system is a great inconvenience. Not only will it fail to heat properly, but will consume more electricity than normal.

Follow these tips to keep your heating system working properly during cold weather.

Replace HVAC Filters

HVAC filters are designed to trap contaminants such as pollen, dander, dust, and dirt from the air onto the filter. Over time, filters get clogged with dirt and debris. A clogged filter is unable to remove contaminants from the air passing through the HVAC system.

Clogged filters are the most common cause of HVAC failure. A clogged filter can cause airflow issues, forcing your fan to work harder. This can cause your system to overheat and eventually break down.

HVAC companies in Santa Rosa and elsewhere recommend changing filters every 90 days. You may want to change your filters more frequently if:

  • You have senior citizens, kids, or pets at home; or
  • Someone in your home has a seasonal allergy

Traditional filters are unable to capture fine particles. Consider replacing them with HEPA filters. These filters are designed to trap 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns.

If you use a humidifier, remember to change its filter at regular intervals and set the humidistat.

If you use a humidifier, remember to change its filter at regular intervals and set the humidistat.

Keep Vents Clear

When you block your air vents, there is less airflow to move the air back to the furnace. When this happens, your furnace is forced to work harder. Be sure your vents are clear from furniture, rugs, drapes and other household items.

Check Your Ductwork

Faulty ductwork is a recipe for disaster, and can lead to many issues such as hot and cold spots, poor airflow, and clogged filters. If your air ducts have leaks, your system will be unable to heat your home properly.

If the seal around the return that feeds directly into your heater is loose, a backdraft may occur, negatively impacting the efficiency of your system.

Inspect your ductwork for leaks regularly. Use heat-graded foil tape to wrap or caulk the joints. If inspecting your ductwork and fixing issues seems like an uphill challenge, hire a professional for the job.

During a ductwork inspection session, the professional will visually inspect all accessible ductwork for leaks, damage, and inadequate insulation. They will repair or replace damaged ductwork. The professional will also clean your ductwork to get rid of debris and/or biological growth.

Check the Pilot Light on Your Furnace

Make sure the pilot light on your furnace is lit. When the pilot light goes out, the furnace stops working. If you do not know how to inspect your pilot light, check the owner’s manual to find related information or consult your local HVAC technician.

If you have a newer system, test the ignitor switch. If it isn’t working, push the reset button. Still not working? Inspect your breaker. If these remedies don’t do the trick, consult an HVAC professional.

Schedule a Maintenance

Have a professional inspect and maintain your system before winter. There are several benefits of pre-winter heating unit maintenance.

A well-maintained HVAC unit is less likely to malfunction or break down. It will heat properly and work to prevent problems with air quality. A properly maintained unit will last longer and can help lower your electricity bill.

During a pre-winter maintenance session, your contractor will:

  • Inspect and clean/replace air filters
  • Inspect the ignitor burner assembly
  • Check the gas pressure
  • Repair or replace worn belts and pulleys
  • Check for gas leaks (if you use a gas furnace)
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check the thermostat and set it for the heating season
  • Inspect the heat pump
  • Lubricate all moving parts, including motors and bearings
  • Make sure the flue system is securely attached to the furnace
  • Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks

Use a Programmable Thermostat

If you are still using a manual thermostat, now is the right time to switch to a programmable thermostat. There are several benefits of programmable thermostats. Your programmable thermostat can help you reduce your heating costs by 10 percent.

A programmable thermostat is designed to adjust your home’s temperature automatically according to a series of programmed settings, which means you do not have to constantly adjust the temperature every few hours. Most importantly, a programmable thermostat will keep your HVAC system optimized.

When temperatures fall, change your thermostat’s setting from cooling to heating. Set the temperature at least a couple of degrees higher than the room temperature. If the thermostat won’t come on, check the wiring to make sure the connections are secure.

If the connections are snug, check whether the power source is turned on. If nothing works, give your technician a call.

Check the Tank Level, Nozzle, and Filter Of Your Oil-Powered Furnace

If you have an oil-powered furnace, change the filter, clean the burner nozzle, and brush the heat exchanger.

John Owens Services, Inc. is a renowned HVAC company in Santa Rosa. We are committed to helping our customers get the most out of their heating and cooling systems. Whatever your problem, we will get to the root of it and eliminate it. To schedule an inspection, call 707-207-8592.

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