A Homeowner’s Winter Heating Checklist

home alarm detectorWell, the winter here in the Alpharetta area has so far been pretty mild. While you probably haven’t used your heat much yet this year, the cooler nights and potential for cool days calls you into action when it comes to maintenance for your heat pump or furnace.

Fortunately, it’s not too late! There are some basic steps you should take to make sure your heat pump or furnace is really ready for when temperatures dip lower. As the official first day of winter approaches, here’s a checklist of five steps you should take:

    • Check your vents: Since you probably have central air, your home’s vents have been used fairly recently. Nonetheless, now’s a good time to go around and check your heat system’s vent. Make sure they’re all clear, all open and all blowing out warm air.

    • Check your carbon monoxide alarm: Every home should have an alarm to protect your family against the odorless and deadly carbon monoxide that could be given off by your furnace or other appliances that aren’t completely combusting. Now is a good time to make sure that your carbon monoxide detector’s batteries are fresh, or to buy an alarm and place it near your furnace if you don’t already have one.

    • Check programmable thermostat settings: While smart thermostats are growing more popular, your home should at least have a programmable thermostat – a great tool to help keep your home comfortable and your energy bill lower. When the heating season begins, check your thermostat’s settings to make sure they fit your current schedule.

    • Change the air filter: If you haven’t already, now’s the time to change the air filter in your furnace or heat pump. Find exactly what type of air filter works best for your needs and read up on how often you should change your air filter.

  • Give the heat a test run: If your heat hasn’t run much this season yet, turn it on and make sure that everything is running normally – vents are blowing warm air, the system is cycling normally and there aren’t any suspicious noises or smells.

If you’re in the Alpharetta area, including Buford and Duluth, and run into anything unusual during your checklist, or if it’s been awhile since your system has had routine maintenance, call Gagne Heating and Air. Professional routine maintenance can help your system run more efficiently, lower the likelihood of emergency breakdowns and extend the life of your system.