Both new and old forced warm air systems need some attention to help keep them running smoothly and efficiently during the season. Even though you may have a relatively new system, a regular check and maintenance is important. With the sensitivity and complexity of modern controls, even small changes in a setting can have a significant detrimental effect on the function and life of a unit.
- To conserve energy during the active part of the day, it is best to set the thermostat at a reasonable comfort level and leave it alone rather than continuously adjusting it.
- To further conserve fuel, install a electronic programmable thermostat to automatically raise and lower temperatures according to your family’s schedule while everyone is out during the day and while sleeping at night.
- Check the filter at least monthly during the heating (and cooling) season. Permanent, cleanable filters should be cleaned often; disposable type filters should be replaced when dirty.
- Make sure all heat supply dampers on room registers are in the open position and not blocked by furniture or drapes. While a properly designed and installed heating system should provide uniform heat distribution throughout the house, in some cases a diverter or booster fan may be needed to improve distribution.
- Consider an annual service contract with a local utility or service company, especially if your system is fueled by an oil burner. A qualified service technician will clean the burners and the heating surfaces; check for back drafting (which can create a carbon monoxide hazard), check for balanced air distribution; check safety controls; and lubricate motors and fan if required.
Note: These tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at www.housemaster.com.
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