Now that you have put the lawnmower away for the year and pulled the leaf rakes and blowers out of your garage, you know it is also time to make plans to get your DC house ready for the colder temperatures, too. Getting ready for the fall means sealing up your home a little tighter (but not too tight) and making sure all of your heating equipment is in peak working order.
It’s a good idea to make a mental or physical checklist of everything that needs to be done – and why it needs to be done. Here are some basic tips on how to get your house ready for fall. Let’s first look at ways to assist your heating system to do its job and then look at ways to keep your heating system working efficiently.
First, check all areas of the home where there may be heat loss. Replacing screen windows and screened doors with glass windows and storm doors is the first logical step. Keep all of your screens together and store them in an area that’s convenient to access next spring. Check all of the caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, roof vents, chimney stacks, etc. You may need to remove older caulk and weather stripping and replace it if it is chipped, cracked, or missing.
- Make a visual inspection of the ductwork in your house. Ensure there are no openings between joints. Keep a roll of duct tape with you to seal off any obvious gaps, even after you have closed or repaired them. It never hurts to use a little duct tape.
- Check all of your vents and returns for any obstructions or debris. Move furniture or carpeting away from the vents and returns.
Okay, you’ve done a good job of checking your house for leakage. Now let’s check your furnace for ways to keep it running efficiently. Besides providing warmth and comfort to people in your home, a properly tuned furnace will run more efficiently and use less energy – keeping your utility bills down.
Inspect your furnace filter. Since you will be turning your furnace on for the first time in a few months, you may want to replace the filter in the air handling unit which is connected to your furnace through a plenum. Chances are, the filter will need to be replaced and the timing would be right to do it while getting your house ready for fall. If you have a removable electronic filter, give a thorough washing with a soapy solution and rinse it out. Make sure it is dry before putting it back in the air handling unit.
- Visually inspect the pilot flame in your furnace. The flame should be a bright blue with a slight shade of yellow on the tip. If it is not, there may be incomplete combustion inside your furnace, which should be checked immediately. Call a heating contractor to schedule an inspection.
- Ensure there is easy access to your heating system by removing any clothes, boxes, furniture which may have accumulated around it.
The best way to get your heating system ready for the fall is to schedule routine service and maintenance visits from your local heating contractor. Be safe, warm, and comfortable this fall by taking these easy steps.