Your sitting at home reading a book curled up in your Snuggy, when all of a sudden, things start to get a little chilly. Your heater went out while there is a blizzard going on right outside your window. It's times like this that you probably wish you would have been stricter with taking care of your heater.
As soon as the seasons start to change from hot to frigid you need to start your maintenance. This could mean replacing your filters or even having a contractor come out to take a look at it. To get you through the winter months, here are seven tips toward heater maintenance.
1. Start Your Maintenance Ahead of Time
It never fails, if a problem is going to occur with your heater, it's going to happen when it's negative twenty degrees out. It's for this reason, you need to start your heater maintenance early.
You want to start right before the winter months are upon you. Glance over your heater and if you aren't sure what you're looking for, call an inspector to come out and take a look. You should go through a similar process with your AC right when spring is starting and the weather starts changing from cold to hot.
2. Clean or Replace the Filter
When your heater is first starting to show signs of problems, the first troubleshooting step we recommend is cleaning it or replacing the filter. The purpose of the filter is to catch airborne particles, so they tend to get pretty dirty. You might feel a noticeable difference if you change it out.
The inner workings of the heater itself could be the issue and so you'll need to clean them. Take a soft bristled brush and gently work it around the inside of the heater to knock any debris loose. Once you have a nice collection of dust, take a vacuum and carefully suck it up.
3. Reduce Your Home's Heating Load
The harder something has to work, the more likely it's going to eventually break down. It's for this reason that you need to reduce your heating load. It's inevitableÂ that your home will have weaknesses where the air is able to seep into your home from outside.
If you call an inspector to come in and check it out, they will be able to tell you where these points are and how to close them off. It could be as simple as adding insulation to your attic or putting weather stripping on your windows and doors. If you seal off these areas, you will not only take some pressure off your heater, but also shave some money off your power bill.
4. Make Sure the Vents are Free
For the heater to work properly it needs to be able to circulate air from room to room. If you close off vents the heater will have to work harder to warm your house.
Make sure that the vents are not only open, but you don't have any furniture or boxes covering them. Every vent in your home should be completely functional and uncovered.
5. Is Your Blower Motor Running
The blower motor is what allows air to move through your heater, and it's also where your filter is located. This motor has a lot of parts to it and like most things, if one part stops working, it can cause issues for everything else involved.
If you hear a lot of loud noise, this could mean two metal pieces in the motor are rubbing against each other and wearing themselves out. It could also mean that the wheel has come loose and is scraping the inside of the heater.
If it's none of these things, then you might have an electrical issue. Any of these problems can cause major issues later on, so you'll want to have someone come out right away to fix it.
6. What's That Smell?
When you first turn your heater on after months of it being off, it's probably going to smell like something is burning inside of your home. Don't panic, this is perfectly natural and will go away after you run it for a bit.
What isn't natural is if the smell doesn't go away. If the scent stays around for a while, you'll want to call someone out to inspect and see if the smell is coming from another source.
7. Keep Flammable Materials Away From it
Your heater is probably going to be located in one or two places, your crawlspace or your storage area. If it's in your storage area, you'll want to make sure you don't put your storage containers around it.
If you do have containers around it be sure there is nothing flammable inside them like aerosol cans, clothes, gasoline, paint, and other chemicals. If things get too hot these items can either combust and cause a fire, or catch fire and feed it.
Stay Toasty this Winter: Your Guide to Heater Maintenance
The last thing you want is for your heater to break down on you when there is a blizzard right outside your window. Have it checked and start heater maintenance ahead of time so you aren't stuck with chattering teeth and blue lips this winter season.
Has your heater stopped working when you need it the most? Contact us to get in touch with one of our many professionals to see what we can do to get you warm again.