Have you made the big switch yet? Have you taken the leap and turned the heat on in your home? When to turn the heat on is a personal decision, but once you decide to do it we have a few steps to help ready your home for heating season.
This is listed as step one because ideally you will have your furnace inspected before turning it on each year. However, it is not necessary to wait for the inspection to turn it on if you are getting cold! The furnace inspection will make sure the unit is operating safely and that there are no major problems for it on the horizon.
Look on your thermostat for a switch that says “Heat, Cool, Off,” and flip the switch to “Heat.” This may look slightly different on digital thermostats.
Uh oh. Did you not hear the furnace kick on after that? Don’t panic just yet. If the furnace does not turn on after flipping the switch, take a look for another switch (it looks like a light switch) on the side of the furnace unit itself. Be sure that this switch is also switched to ON. Still having problems? Best to contact a professional.
Many forced air HVAC systems are equipped with humidifiers, so if you have one, it is important to remember it as you ready your home for heating season. The humidifier should be cleaned annually. This is a project you can undertake yourself, or feel free to call in for some help.
Once the humidifier is clean, set it using the humidistat. The humidistat may be located on your thermostat, or it may be a separate control on your duct work. The recommended humidity level is between 40 and 50%.
There actually isn’t that much that needs to be done for your air conditioner during the winter months. You may read advice about putting a cover over the outside condenser unit, but we advise against that. Covers can trap moisture leading to issues. If leaves and debris fall on the unit during the fall and winter, you can always gently hose them off in the spring.
In order to save a little energy, we recommend looking for the electrical box located near the outside condenser unit of the air conditioner. This box powers the heat needed for the oil in the condenser unit while it is in use. When you have found the box, flip the disconnect switch to off. Heating the oil isn’t necessary during the winter, so you may as well save some energy!