Furnace Maintenance 101

Furnace Maintenance 101

Furnace Maintenance: Tips to Keeping Your Home Warm This Winter

This is the time of year when we are waiting for winter to end and spring to arrive. That last cold snap made us appreciate having a good central heating system. When it is cold outside, coming inside is a refuge.

Most of the time it is a refuge. But occasionally the comfort level is a little lacking and there still seems to be a chill in the air. That chill might be the result of neglected furnace maintenance.

When that is the case, remember that it is okay to use the furnace and turn the thermostat up; honestly, you purchased a home with central heating to be comfortable. You change the air filter and have the Furnace Maintenance annually to stay comfortable. However, turning the setting up is not the only method of staying comfortable. When you are a little chilled:

Check the Thermostat

If you are chilly, the thermostat setting probably registers the chill and is preparing to begin a heating cycle. It will take a few seconds, so be patient.

Notice Outside Influences

If you just came in from the cold, it would take a little time to warm up to room temperature, so be patient. Check around. Did another family member just come in from the cold? How long was the door open? This will soon trigger a heating cycle, so be patient.

Notice Your Position

Heat rises.

  • The warmest air in the home is near the ceiling, so we are missing it. Try using the ceiling fan at the lowest setting and make sure it is turning in a clockwise rotation. This will push the warm air down and contribute to comfort.
  • The lower level of a home is often cooler than the upper level.
  • The air is the coldest near the floor, so you may need to wear some woolly slippers. Pull your feet up onto the couch.

Use the Free Heat

The reaches of space are approximately -4540 Fahrenheit; now that is cold! The one heat source that makes our planet livable is the sun. That makes us appreciate sunny days a little more, doesn’t it? All that heat is available at no charge, so why not use it?

  • Opening blinds and drapes on sunny days (even cold days) can increase indoor temperatures by about 10 degrees. That is enough to impact family comfort levels.
  • Windows are poor insulators and great heat conductors, so close the blinds and drapes during dark or cloudy days.

Make Sure to Close the Flue

Fireplaces can be great. Some are more energy-efficient than others. Make sure the flue is open during use and closed when the fire is out. If not, the flue is just a hole in the ceiling, letting the heat escape into the cold.

Cooking and Cleaning

One of the benefits of cooking outdoors during the summer is avoiding heating the house during the hottest part of the day. One of the benefits of cooking indoors during the winter is heating the house during the coldest part of the day. Break out the family recipes for banana bread or chocolate chip cookies and enjoy the smells and warmth of home cooking.

During the humid summer, it is advantageous to turn the fan on during showers, pushing the steamy air outdoors. In the winter, a hot shower contributes to indoor comfort and the steam increases the indoor humidity, a good thing.

Seal Draft Sources

If moving air is cold during the winter, find the source—a leaky window or uninsulated garage—and apply caulk, weatherstripping, or insulating to prevent the draft.

If your heater smells, call to schedule a Furnace Maintenance appointment! 

Let Doctor Cool help with your Furnace Maintenance questions. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool.

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