Fall Tune-up: Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter
Today’s furnaces are more sophisticated than those in years’ past. They need to be tuned up every year like the vehicle you drive. To quote the old Fram commercial, “pay us now or pay us later.”
Some of the routine maintenance you can do yourself involves the following:
Inspect, clean or replace your furnace filter every 2 months or more depending on your lifestyle (e.g., do you have any furry pets?)
Ensure the outside venting is not plugged or closed off.
Double-check to see if the power to the furnace is on.
Set your thermostat to heating mode.
Make sure the heating registers and cold air returns are not covered by furniture, etc.
Adjust the hot air registers in each room to receive the proper heat.
Power Duct Cleaning
The indoor comfort of your home is controlled by your heating and cooling system.
The ducts that run through your property carry air to various parts of your home. This air circulates and is eventually returned back to the furnace for recirculation. This network of piping should be cleaned every 3 years (or even more often) depending on the number of household occupants. These are the veins that control the quality of air you take in.
Dust, mold, mites and other particles build up in your ductwork and need to be cleaned. Proper maintenance and having a good quality filter will improve the quality of air you breathe.
Nowadays, we make our homes more energy efficient and seal them tighter, like an envelope. This saves energy and preserves the environment.
What is an HRV? It's an appliance we use to change the air in a home. It helps retain the heat we are exhausting. An HRV filters the incoming air and helps control any excess humidity within newer energy efficient homes.
One problem with well-sealed houses is that they no longer permit natural air leakage around the windows, doors and through the walls. We must now mechanically change the air. The HRV replaces stale indoor air with fresh outside air, filtering it as it enters your home.
We use many chemicals within our homes such as household cleaners. We also have chemicals in our carpeting , paints, adhesives, etc. HRVs help filter these elements.
You can have an air filter installed, or you can install an air filter on your furnace.
We measure the quality of air filter by its MERV rating. This rating tells you what the capability of the filter actually is. The higher the rating, the better the device will filter or purify your air.
The more susceptible you are to airborne contaminants, the more you need a high-efficiency air purifier. MERV 16 (which is very high) can be reached with a HEPA filter, or you can reach a 12 using a filter and UV light.
Proper humidity in your home is essential to your overall health. The air in your home is always trying to reach optimum saturation. So without proper humidification during the winter months, the air steals moisture from people, pets, plants, furniture and wood products.
The opposite occurs in the summer where too much humidity can lead to mold, mildew and trigger other allergies.
Proper humidity makes the air feel warmer and allows you to feel more comfortable. Proper humidification keeps your skin, nose, throat and wood items from drying out.
There are many types of humidifiers on the market today. Try to buy one without sitting water and remember to maintain it regularly.
If you require an inspection for your home, or if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.