The holiday season is upon us and so is the cold weather. By now you’ve probably fired up your heating systems and are getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties. But before you entertain guests, here are a few holiday heating tips to help ensure you and yours don’t end up in the cold.
Holiday Heating Tip #1: Get Your HVAC Winter Maintenance
Schedule a routine maintenance check for your HVAC system each fall to check for loose belts in the blower, measure the pressure of the gas, and check for cracks in the heat exchanger.
Loose belts mean your system has to work harder to pump out the desired amount of air. Cracks in the heat exchanger can cause problems with the pilot light as well as soot buildup from improper combustion, leading to a host of fire concerns.
Holiday Heating Tip #2: Inspect Your Ducts
Have a licensed professional inspect and clean your ducts to make sure you have a clean, energy-efficient holiday season. If you have leaks in your ducts, you will raise your heating bill as your heating system pushes out more heat to make up for what’s lost in the leaks.
To reduce worry about cleaning ducts and to minimize home heating during the winter, you should also consider a ductless heat pump. By eliminating ducts you also eliminate the chance of heat escaping through cracks or improperly sealed ducts.
Holiday Heating Tip #3: Prevent Heating System Fires
The overwhelming majority of home heating system fires occur in the months of December, January, and February. While there are many causes of home heating fires, clogged or dirty equipment is the most common. You should get your heating system checked by a professional technician every year before you turn the system to heat, but if you let it slip, make sure to get a check-up before holiday get-togethers.
Make sure your filters and vents are clean and free of debris because dust is extremely flammable and in large quantities can cause fires to spread. Dust can also accumulate above the furnace and cause a fire within if the debris falls down into the heat exchanger.
You also want to make sure to keep anything flammable away from heating devices, especially blankets, boxes of holiday decorations, and packages. During the holidays the house can get crazy, but it’s important not to forget home heating safety.
Holiday Heating Tip #4: Check Your Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A natural byproduct of gas furnaces is carbon dioxide, an odorless, colorless gas that is usually safely combusted and vented away from the home. If your heating system’s venting is dirty or clogged, the carbon monoxide can build up and leak into the home with potentially deadly effects.
You may also want to be careful if you have an older, smaller house without updated ventilation. If several appliances are running and competing for a limited amount of fresh air, it can lead to a carbon dioxide buildup.
If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, we highly recommend you purchase enough to place one near or in each separate sleeping area. Additionally, we recommend you place an additional carbon monoxide alarm at least 15-20 feet away from the furnace or any fuel burning heating systems.
Holiday Heating Tip #5: Make Use of Your Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are great for the holidays because you can set them and forget them. You can set preferable temperatures for up to four times a day, making sweltering dinnertimes and freezing breakfasts non-existent.
If you are hosting holiday parties, set it for a slightly cooler temperature the day everyone is scheduled to come over. With that many warm bodies and the oven going, it can get hot inside pretty quick. Put out some blankets on the couch so that the family can stay warm even after the kitchen has cooled down.
Schedule Your Winter Checkup Today!
If you live in the Baltimore or Annapolis, MD areas, All Seasons Heating & Cooling can help you take care of your heating system. We specialize in the installation, repair, and maintenance of all types of heating systems.
For more information on other home heating tips, or to get started with regular maintenance and high efficiency heating, contact us online or call 443-692-7723 today.