Can you feel it? That cool evening air that lingers into the morning before warming under the summer sun—that’s the first sign of the rapidly-approaching fall season. It serves as a reminder that now is the perfect time to get your heating system ready for the colder weather. In this month’s blog, the home comfort specialists at Main Stream Mechanical offer helpful tips on how to prepare your HVAC system for the cooler days ahead. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Test run your furnace/boiler.
You don’t want to wait until the cold weather sets in to check your HVAC system. This is especially true if you noticed any changes in your unit’s functionality or efficiency at the end of the last heating season. Think of it as doing a warm up before a long race. Start by turning your furnace or boiler on a few times to see if things are still working properly. If there is something wrong, you’ll have enough time to schedule any needed repairs.
2. Set your thermostat for the next season.
As the seasons turn colder, adjustments can be made to help you achieve the right comfort level. Reset your programmable thermostat to a new desired temperature that also reflects your family’s changing schedule. For example, with school back in session, your home may be empty for several hours during the day, lessening the demand on your heating system. You can generate significant savings when your thermostat is at a constant set point for eight hours or more—such as when you’re sleeping or your house is empty during the day.
3. Maximize your indoor air flow, quality, and comfort.
Fall and winter is when you and your family will be spending more time indoors. This is a great opportunity to focus on the air quality in your home. Before fall begins:
Change your air filters before you turn on your heating system. New filters will boost air flow and enhance your indoor air quality. Keep your system working properly and efficiently by changing or cleaning filters every three to six months during the height of the heating season.
Adjust your humidifier. Start by replacing the water panel to help you maintain proper humidity levels and to ease the stress on your humidifier. You may find you need to change it more frequently during the winter, when the humidifier is in heavy use, or if you have hard water at home. Then set the relative humidity between 35% and 45%, optimal humidity levels for comfortable air quality. Finally, turn the water supply to the furnace humidifier back on.
Clean your baseboards, registers and radiators to make sure they are free of dust or debris. Move furniture and other obstructions so they’re not blocking the air flow. Clean and unobstructed baseboards transfer heat more efficiently, reducing stress on your system.
4. Schedule annual maintenance with Main Stream Mechanical.
A yearly maintenance visit by one of our home comfort specialists will ensure your heating system is ready for the fall. Our skilled technicians perform an inspection, cleaning, equipment tune up, and any needed repairs. Schedule your appointment early to guarantee your heating system will be safe and fully operational when you turn it on for the first time.
Additional Safety Considerations:
1. Move hazardous and combustible materials to a secure location, far away from your unit. Maintain a three foot clearance around your furnace to promote airflow and to prevent a fire.
2. Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector annually.
3. Regularly test both your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors during the winter months.
HVAC Installation, Service and Repair in MA and NH
You rely on your heating system to keep your home and family warm and cozy when you need it most. Don’t be left in the cold. Contact our home comfort specialists to schedule your annual maintenance check so your system will be ready for another chilly New England winter.
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