Is it Time for a Heating System Tune-Up?

Avoid Surprise Breakdowns Over the Holidays

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Courtesy Sila

When was the last time your heating system had a tune-up? A regular system tune-up can help avoid surprise breakdowns over the holidays, and optimize performance. Higher energy efficiency means lower operating costs, adding to your peace of mind as the nights get colder and homes are filled with family.

The team at Sila heating and air conditioning are experts in older homes. They say in addition to making sure your system is performing at optimal levels, there are a few things you can do around your home to prepare for low temperatures and to avoid high heating bills.

Here are five tasks you can handle to prepare your home in advance of the winter heating season. These are tried and true measures to ensure your winter comfort, save energy and save money.

  1. Most importantly, replace your heater’s air filter. A dirty filter makes your heater work harder, decreases performance, and reduces energy efficiency.
  2. Once you check the filter dimensions, buy at least two. They are simple to install and inexpensive. Check the filter condition each month, and keep track of how long it takes before needing replacement again. Replace the filter when you cannot see through it when you hold it up to light. How frequently it requires replacement depends on the size of your house, the type of your heater, and the quality of your filter.
    • For heat pumps, an extremely dirty filter can be especially bad since it can cause evaporator coils to freeze up and possibly cause your compressor to fail.
  3. Clean your indoor air vents, or registers, and make sure they are not blocked by furniture or draperies for efficient air flow from the heat exchanger.
  4. No dust, no debris. Clean your outdoor compressor. You should use a soft brush, clear any dirt from the compressor, and hose it clean. Keep the unit’s grills free of grass clippings, leaves and other debris that would inhibit airflow.
    • During winter, clear away any snowfall from around the compressor, too. Typically, outdoor compressors are installed on a cement platform several inches above ground level to prevent obstructions that overwork the compressor and can lead to premature failure
  5. Adjust your thermostat setting for heating season – generally, 66 to 68 degrees, as low as you can be comfortable. Lower your thermostat five degrees when you are away from home for a few hours or asleep, and lower the setting to 55 degrees when no one is home for multiple days. Each degree saves you energy and money.
  6. Seal up around windows and doors. Look inside and outdoors for cracking around your doorways and window frames that will allow for drafts and heat loss, causing your heater to work extra. Weather stripping, or a caulking gun with a steady hand can seal those up. You may want to cover up older or drafty windows, if needed. Look in the basement anywhere light may come in, like where wiring or pipes enter, and caulking may be necessary there as well.

A DIYer checklist is a great way to save energy and save money, but sometimes it makes sense to hire a professional for certain jobs around the house.  When it comes to an annual heater inspection, cleaning and maintenance, it’s best to call a professional, especially if you haven’t made a service appointment for more than two years.

Regular heating system tune-ups provide valuable service:

  • Safety
  • Addresses common wear and tear
  • Avoids surprise breakdowns
  • Optimal performance
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • Lower operating costs

The trained service technician will inspect and clean key components such as the heat exchanger, burners, thermostat, sensors, switches, blowers, and the outdoor compressor. Technicians will replace the air filter, look for any common wear and tear and spot anything that could affect the system’s energy efficiency, performance and durability.

Regular preventive maintenance can provide peace of mind before the onslaught of winter cold, and a Sila professional can ensure your unit is safe, clean and ready for optimal performance this season. Experts in older homes, heating repairs and regular maintenance, the team of engineers and technicians at Sila heating and air conditioning are available for inspections, maintenance, installations and 24/7 Emergency Service.

Regular preventive maintenance can provide peace of mind before the real winter cold arrives. A Sila professional can ensure your unit is safe, clean and ready for optimal performance this season.

Schedule your appointment online now, or call 202-338-9400.