Like many busy homeowners, you’ve probably barely noticed that winter is just around the corner. Unfortunately, the temperatures have begun to drop already, and Daylight Savings Time, the unofficial start of winter, has just passed us. Some of us have turned on our heating systems and think of the prep we should have done. Now that winter is almost upon us, what preparations can we make that will be quick, easy, and worthwhile?
Winter Heating Prep Tips
- Get an Inspection/Tune-Up
Have you turned your heating system on yet? Even if you have, get a qualified technician to inspect the system before winter has fully arrived. They will be able to identify potential problem areas before they become genuine, potentially costly issues. A system tune-up will ensure that your system will respond when you need it. Get ahead of any impending problems now, before they become emergencies.
- Change All Batteries and Filters
The beginning of each season is the ideal time to change all of the batteries in your home’s fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and thermostats. It is also an excellent time to change the furnace filters and begin the season with a fresh, clean filter for improved air quality. Air filters should be changed every 2-3 months, but if you have pets or are especially sensitive to seasonal allergens, changing them on a more regular basis will help you breathe easier.
- Review Your Home Energy Bills
Many companies are still allowing their employees to work from home, so it would make sense that energy usage and costs increase. As we head into the second winter of the work from home increase, you should better understand your energy costs. By checking your energy bills regularly, you can identify potential issues in your home’s energy usage. Are you going through more oil or gas to warm your home? It could be indicative of a problem with your heating system.
You can also audit your energy bills to identify ways to improve your home’s energy use. Does your usage stay high on the weekends or nights when you aren’t home or are asleep? Maybe a zoned heating system would be a cost-effective upgrade?
- Seal Those Leaks
There are many places in your home for warm air to escape and cool air to come in. Before it gets too cold, check the weather-stripping around any operable doors or windows. Replacing it yearly helps ensure that warm air stays inside, preventing drafts, and keeping you comfortable. Upgrade the caulking around non-opening doors and windows for the same reason. By replacing old or cracked caulking, you are also protecting the material around the caulk and preventing moisture from seeping into your windowsills which can cause the wood casement to deteriorate.
Doors and windows aren’t the only places that are susceptible to leaks. Check the seals and insulation around your ductwork. While ducts are known to lose warm air as it’s pushed through, you can help to mitigate the loss by properly taping and insulating the ducts. Be sure to pay special attention to the curved parts of the ducts where air leaks are most commonly found.
- Don’t Forget Your Air Conditioner
Although it isn’t heating prep, prep your central air conditioner unit for the winter. Clean out any accumulated debris, including sticks, grass, and animal nests. You may need to spray the unit down with a hose. Cut power to the external condenser to prevent it from turning on during an unseasonably warm day as water can freeze in the lines. Finally, invest in a sturdy cover for the unit. This will help prevent storm debris and ice from lodging in and possibly damaging it.
Oil Burner Maintenance and Repair Service
When it’s time for you to get your heating system maintained or upgraded, call the experts at Tragar. We offer a full range of services for oil heat and gas heat systems. Our parent company, Tragar, has been keeping Nassau County and Suffolk County residents comfortable for over 60 years. For information about heating system upgrades or scheduling a COD oil delivery, call Tragar Express today at (516) 221-2559. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.