As the winter season approaches, it's essential to ensure that your home and furnace are ready to withstand the cold temperatures. Proper preparation can help keep your furnace working efficiently and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Here's a homeowner's guide to help you get ready for winter:
1. Schedule a Professional Furnace Inspection:
- Contact a licensed HVAC expert like our team at Guardian to perform a thorough inspection of your furnace. They will check for any issues, clean components, and make necessary repairs. Performing heating maintenance is crucial to preventing any furnace breakdowns. Guardian offers a free heat exchanger evaluation during your tune up to check for cracks and potential carbon mono
2. Change or Clean Air Filters:
- Dirty filters can reduce your furnace's efficiency. Replace or clean filters regularly (usually every 1-3 months) to maintain optimal airflow. During your routine heating maintenance, your Guardian expert will replace your standard HVAC filter making sure your air quality is at its best.
3. Seal Air Leaks:
- Inspect doors, windows, and gaps in walls for drafts. Seal any gaps with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home. Your ductwork should also be inspected and repaired for air leaks. These little drafts can cause your heater to work longer and harder to meet the set temperature on your thermostat.
4. Insulate Attics and Crawl Spaces:
- Adequate insulation can significantly improve energy efficiency. Insulate your attic and crawl spaces to keep your home warmer and reduce heating costs. Guardian offers free attic insulation checks when performing your heater tune up. A quick check and free estimate will give you a great idea of the investment required to assure your attic insulation is up to par!
5. Programmable Thermostat:
- Invest in a programmable thermostat to regulate your home's temperature efficiently. Set lower temperatures when you're away and higher when you're at home to save on heating bills. Guardian is well versed in the new technology that you find with today's wifi thermostats. From nest to Ecobee, we can provide you with options that you can set right from your phone.
6. Clear Vents and Registers:
- Ensure that heating vents and registers are not blocked by furniture or other objects. Clear them to allow warm air to circulate freely. Make sure to keep your vents open. Closing off rooms can put strain on your system and limit air flow.
7. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
- Test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Safety is paramount during the heating season. A cracked heat exchanger can be a serious problem that occurs in gas heating systems. Carbon monoxide can seep out of the cracks causing a dangerous situation. Make sure you are safe with operating detectors.
8. Clean and Adjust Ceiling Fans:
- Reverse your ceiling fans to push warm air down from the ceiling. This can help distribute heat more evenly throughout the room. This one task is a quick way to help make you more comfortable during the cool winter months.
9. Inspect Chimney and Fireplace:
- If you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure safe operation. Fireplace safety is important. Often this is a task that is overlooked. If you enjoy the warmth from a fireplace during the cool months, make sure to maintain your fireplace before the first burn.
10. Stock Up on Supplies: - Prepare for winter storms by stocking up on essentials such as food, water, blankets, and emergency lighting in case of power outages. Georgia has been known to have power outages and shut downs during snow storms. Making sure you have a few days of food, water and lighting on hand will assure you are comfortable while you wait for the power to be restored.
11. Winterize Your Exterior: - Trim overhanging tree branches that could fall on your home during heavy snow or ice. Clean gutters and downspouts to keep the water draining as it should. Make sure to monitor any slippery areas during a freeze and salt as needed.
12. Emergency Kit: - Create an emergency kit with items like flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and a portable phone charger. When snow or ice storms hit our Atlanta suburbs, we often see downed power lines from heavy ice. Having an emergency kit will make you more comfortable and limit the inconvenience of a power outage.
13. Regular Maintenance: - Throughout the winter, continue to check and change filters as needed. Keep an eye on your furnace for any unusual noises or issues. Make sure you have a heating tune up prior to the cool setting in. This will keep your furnace or heat pump running without breakdowns. No one wants to deal with a furnace repair mid winter.
14. Plan for Vacation: - If you plan to leave your home for an extended period during winter, set your thermostat to a lower temperature to conserve energy while preventing frozen pipes. Do not turn your thermostat to off. You most certainly do not want to come home to a burst pipe!
By following these steps, you can prepare your home and furnace for winter, ensuring a warm, comfortable, and efficient living environment while reducing the risk of unexpected breakdowns. Regular maintenance and energy-saving practices will not only keep you cozy but also save on heating costs during the colder months. The winter of 2022 we had a deep freeze. Many of our Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth and surround customers found themselves needing furnace and heat pump repairs. A few small preparedness steps can save you from a winter breakdown. If your furnace breaks down, contact the experts at Guardian for quick service! 770-727-1888