HVAC Maintenance Tips for Fall

September 20, 2020

Winter weather will soon arrive in Ontario and the surrounding areas. You’ll want a warm, comfortable home when the first sub-freezing air arrives, which means now is the time to do your fall HVAC maintenance. Follow these eight steps for an energy-efficient heating system and comfortable home.

1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t yet have a programmable or smart thermostat, now is the time to have one installed. These devices make it easier and more convenient to set your home’s temperature. You won’t have to pay as much for heating your home, and your comfort won’t be affected. Most programmable thermostats allow you to set four temperatures for each day. You can set every day of the week to be the same or have weekdays separate from weekends. They also offer a vacation mode if you’ll be travelling for the holidays.

2. Reverse Ceiling Fan Direction

During the wintertime, your ceiling fans should run in a clockwise direction. This pushes the warm air back down to the lower level of each room. Since you sit and sleep closer to the floor than the ceiling, keeping the warm air lower helps you feel more comfortable. Ceiling fans use less energy compared to the energy consumed by a furnace for heating your home. Because the intake vents are close to a room’s ceilings, having the cold air pushed toward them increases your furnace’s energy efficiency.

3. Replace the Air Filter

A dirty air filter lowers your heating system’s efficiency by as much as 15%. It also reduces airflow, so you won’t feel as comfortable. Replacing the filter only takes a couple of minutes. Locate the housing, open it and slide out the filter. Insert the new one in the correct orientation. If you’re unsure of which filter size or type to use, our team at Comfort Masters Ltd. can show you how during a tune-up visit.

4. Inspect the Chimney or Flue

Furnaces burn fuel to heat your home. The combustion process creates byproducts that include carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases. Your chimney or flue needs to be in top shape so that these poisonous gasses don’t seep into your home. You can do a visual inspection of the chimney or flue outside of your home. If you notice damage to the mortar or bricks, call for repairs. Look for birds’ nests or other materials left by animals. Those materials could block the chimney or flue and force the poisonous gases back into your home.

5. Clean Vents and Covers

The vent covers tend to accumulate pet dander, dust and dirt. This debris is sticky. It covers the vent openings and impedes the flow of warm air produced by your furnace. If the warm air can’t get into your living spaces, the furnace will work harder. The more the furnace cycles, the higher your utility bills. Excessive furnace cycling also produces unnecessary wear and tear and increases the risk of a furnace malfunction.

6. Open All Air Vents

You won’t feel comfortable if the warm air from your furnace doesn’t reach the rooms you occupy. Take a few minutes to make sure all the air vents are open. This includes both the return and supply vents. Move any toys, boxes or furniture away from the vents. These items block airflow.

7. Check the Carbon Monoxide Detector

Check the carbon monoxide detector before you need your furnace’s heating functions. Most detectors have a test button. If you haven’t replaced its batteries since the springtime, do so now. The detector should have new batteries every six months. Even if the detector is hardwired, it should still have a battery backup. The batteries will sound if there are high carbon monoxide levels in your home during a power outage.

8. Schedule a Professional Tune-Up

Fall is the ideal time to schedule a professional furnace tune-up. Our NATE-certified technicians perform a thorough inspection. We check and clean the burners, heat exchange, sensors and motor. We also run a system performance test to make sure that no carbon monoxide or poisonous gas has entered your home.

At Comfort Masters Ltd., we’re the go-to source for HVAC maintenance in Oshawa, Newmarket and the surrounding communities. Homeowners also turn to us for effective air exchange and filtration, gas fireplaces, indoor air quality, tankless water heaters and maintenance plans. Our skilled technicians also provide heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, replacement and installation services. To learn more or schedule a heating system tune-up, call us today.