Fall is definitely here, and that brings with it the inescapable transition from cooling season to the heating season. Though the cooler temperatures may bring relief from the hot mugginess of summer at first, you may start wondering what you should do to prepare for the winter months? What are the procedures for switching from the air conditioner to the furnace? How should you prepare the air conditioner for winter? How do I start the furnace?
Before you turn on your heating system, however, it’s really important to get your annual heating tune-up. This is a must-do fall maintenance task that can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills and will help ensure your furnace will have no breakdowns during a cold winter. Just like your vehicle needs to be maintained to run correctly, you need to do the same when you prepare your HVAC system.
Because a furnace/HVAC unit has moving parts, it’s important that belts are not dry and cracked, ductwork is not gapped, cracked, or rusted, and components such as coils and fans are clog-free and sufficiently lubricated. This type of assessment is best left to a Green Apple professional unless the homeowner has had the proper training.
Scheduling HVAC maintenance once in the fall and once in the spring will help you save huge amounts of money in the long run. It’s very important to get your system checked out twice a year.
Turning on the furnace
To turn the furnace on, simply look for the switch on your thermostat labeled: HEAT COOL OFF, and flip the switch from COOL to HEAT. Newer digital thermostats may have an option on the digital screen rather than a switch. The temperature does not have to be set at a specific point; that is a personal preference. If you have steam heat or don’t have an A/C, your thermostat will not have a HEAT COOL OFF switch.
If you turn the thermostat from cool to heat and it’s not functioning, then it’s time to take a trip to the furnace. Look for a switch on the side of the furnace that resembles a light switch. Make sure that switch is also “on.”
If it still doesn’t go on, it might be time to call Green Apple Mechanical.
Check the air filter
If you’ve been reading any of our previous blogs, you no doubt have learned about how critical it is to change your air filters. We cannot overemphasize how important this is!
When dirt and dust build-up on the air filter, airflow is curbed, lowering the HVAC unit’s efficiency and ultimately leading to more serious problems. A clogged HVAC filter can not only waste energy but even damage your furnace in the long run. More importantly, if your filter isn’t actually filtering, it can affect your family’s health and cause breathing issues, especially for those with allergies or asthma.
What types of filters are available? Most HVAC and furnace filters are one-use, constructed of Eco-friendly paper or similar media, and shaped in cells, screens, or fins intended to catch as much airborne debris as possible. You’ll find there are many types of filters that will fit various models of furnaces/HVAC units, and it’s quite important to use the correct filter for your particular unit. Using the wrong filter that doesn’t fit your unit properly can create the same types of problems as having a dirty filter.
Heating experts tell us that up to 38 percent of your home’s heat is lost through leaks in the ductwork and around doors and windows during a typical winter.
Locating and sealing such leaks can help you stop losing warm air. This would include sealing your ductwork and caulking windows. You might also need to lower your door threshold or replace the weather stripping around the bottom.
Back to your air ducts. ENERGY STAR estimates that leaky ducts can reduce a home’s heating system’s efficiency by up to 20 percent.
That’s why it’s essential to consider hiring a Green Apple Mechanical HVAC tech to pressure test and inspect the ductwork in your home to make sure that all the heated air is reaching the appropriate rooms. The Green Apple technician will search for loose joints, holes, or leaks and fix these problems accordingly.
In addition, you might want to consider insulating the ducts with a material rated R-6 or higher especially if they run through an unheated basement or a crawl space.
Before we move on from the air ducts, it’s important to make a note to keep them clear from obstructions. Move furniture, drapes, and anything else blocking your air ducts and cold-air returns. Blocked vents reduce airflow and stress your furnace.
Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191