Now that it’s officially winter, get your HVAC system ready for winter with these steps.  Regardless of where you live every homeowner should be getting their systems in tip top shape.  If you’ve not yet gotten started prepping your central heating system, there’s no time like the present.

Furnace Season Basics for Every Homeowner

Being a first time homeowner may mean you have very little experience with home repair.  Here are some of the ways to improve your heating system’s safety and performance this year.   Here are a few items you may want to put on this weekend’s “to do” list:

Check that your carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms are in good working order. Furnaces get hot and that makes them a minor risk for fire, especially as they age.

Reverse your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can help save a bundle on home heating. There’s a switch on most ceiling fan motors that allows you to control which way they spin. In the winter, you’ll want them to turn clockwise at low speed.  This will pull the hot air away from the ceiling and push it toward the living area.

Change your filters. Your furnace performs best when the filter is clean. The filter is  like a surgical mask for your HVAC system. When too many particles are clogging up the pores, the furnace struggles to bring in a full breath.  Ideally, you should change filters when they appear dirty, not when there’s physical material sticking to them. Investing in an electrostatic filter can mean huge savings on replacement filters and gives you a chance to rinse your filter out weekly, so you’ll always have optimal airflow.

Rearrange the furniture. Blocked vents are vents that aren’t living up to their potential. Move furniture out of the way so you can take advantage of  hot air coming out of the furnace.

Upgrade your thermostat. Besides being able to turn the furnace up before getting out of bed on a cold morning, smart thermostats can save a lot of energy and money all year long. Since many Americans have their largest utility bills in the winter, this is a great time to make that investment. Products like Nest’s Learning Thermostats, Honeywell’s Lyric and Ecobee 3 are designed to work with popular home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, too!

Additional Considerations

it’s a good idea to have a regular inspection to ensure that your HVAC system is ready for winter and it’s in prime working order. Things like cracked heat exchangers are real health hazards. An HVAC inspection and routine cleaning is a very minimal expense and can often be reduced further in price with a longer-term service agreement from a reputable service provider.

These service agreements not only give you peace of mind knowing that your equipment has been carefully inspected and will continue to be at regular intervals, but helps you build a lasting relationship with a high-quality HVAC expert You can find many of these shops in HomeKeepr, just open it up and see who your Realtor has recommended locally!

While you wait for your new HVAC service provider to come and check your furnace, go through our winter maintenance checklist to ensure that you’ve covered all your bases before the cold winds really start to blow.