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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall / Winter Preparations

It's already that time of year again, well almost that time, to start preparing your home for the cold months coming up not too far in our future.  Trust me, you will thank yourself time and time again when you prepare your heating and air conditioning system for the upcoming season, whether it be hot or cold.  It never fails, the one time you don't prepare your system will be the time it decides to quit on you either on the coldest of nights in the winter or the hottest of days in the summer.  So here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you and your system are ready:
  • It's always a great idea to switch over your thermostat from air conditioning mode to heat mode on one of these cooler nights in the next month or so, and make sure that your heat works and functions properly.  If it doesn't, then you'll be able to have it fixed and working right before it actually gets cold outside.
  • As mentioned in a previous post, remember to check your air filter(s) and change it if necessary.  The cleaner the filter the less work your system will have to do, thus getting peak efficiency from your system!
  • Get a carbon monoxide detector!  Even if you have a fairly new system it never hurts to have one, they are pretty cheap these days and it's a small price to pay to protect you and your family's lives!
  • This one may sound a bit ridiculous but nonetheless important, make sure all vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
  • When it does actually start getting cold and you've got your heat running, try reversing the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.
  • If your heating system is old, you might consider updating it. A pre-1977 gas furnace is probably 50 to 60 percent efficient today.  Modern gas furnaces, on the other hand, achieve efficiency ratings as high as 98 +/- .04 percent!  Replacing an old heating system can cut your natural gas use nearly in half! 
  • Some people that have straight air conditioners choose to put a cover over them during the winter months while they aren't being used to help protect them from the elements.  Great idea!
Hopefully these tips will help you get prepared.  If you already have a preparation plan, good for you and maybe this blog can serve as a reminder.  Until next time....

- Nickadeemus
Environmental Heating & Air of NC