As winter winds down and you prepare for warmer spring weather, you’ll probably use your heater less often. If it’s time for the heating system to go dormant, you’ll find that it works better next winter if you perform spring maintenance before your system sits idle for several months.
The following four tips can help to ensure that you take good care of your home’s heater and that it fires right up next winter.
Change Air Filters and Check for Debris
For many heaters, this step is one of the easiest parts of maintaining your equipment. Replacing the filter ensures that it can work efficiently when using your heater next season. Dirty filters reduce the air your system can take in and place additional stress on it. A heater with dirty filters will cost more to operate, take longer to warm your house, and may reach a point where it shuts itself off because it has become overloaded.
Your heater’s vents and ductwork can accumulate dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris over time. This buildup can make it harder for your unit to do its job. Check for wear and tear while you’re at it, and make repairs or replacements now before your heater sits unused until next winter.
Check the Thermostat
Check your heater’s thermostat and ensure that it works properly. You can calibrate it by taping a regular, accurate thermometer next to it. Run the heater, and after it heats the area, check the temperature on both devices. The difference should be about three degrees at maximum. You can also clean your thermostat by removing the cover and carefully brushing dust and dirt out of it with a Q-tip or small brush. Remove any minor corrosion spots with a cleaner made for electrical contacts, which you can find at a local hardware store.
Consider upgrading your thermostat to one that you can program. Newer thermostats can help save energy and cut down your energy bill.
Check the Pilot Light
The most common issue with pilot lights is that they can blow out. The thermocouple in your heater is designed to shut off the flame for safety. This flame ignites your heater, and its parts can become dirty, inefficient, or worn-out over time. A dirty thermocouple can erroneously shut off the gas supply to the pilot light, preventing it from staying lit. The issue could also be triggered by a crack in your system’s heat exchanger, which impacts the heater’s combustion chamber and the pilot light’s flame.
Test the Carbon Monoxide Detector
If your heater isn’t working correctly, it can produce excessive carbon monoxide. This poisonous gas is known as a silent killer because it has no taste or odor. You can test your carbon monoxide detector quickly by locating the “test” button on the unit. Push the button, and you should hear the alarm. If the alarm doesn’t sound, then the unit might need new batteries, or it could be malfunctioning.
Prepare Your Heater for a Nice Spring Break
Don’t forget about your heater after it has kept your home warm and cozy all winter. Once spring arrives, it’s a great time to have your heater cleaned, repaired, and maintained so that it’s in tip-top shape for next winter. You can prevent potentially worse repairs and maintenance next winter by making needed repairs and maintenance. Schedule a heater repair appointment with Prime HVAC for your Dothan, AL home today; your heater will thank you for it!