With Old Man Winter right around the corner, it is very important to keep your heating system running efficiently and trouble-free. Making sure your heating system gets cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional will give you peace of mind. Not only will you stay warm this winter, you will also be safe.
Fuel oil systems require yearly cleaning and inspection while gas heating systems can be inspected every year or every other year, depending on the unit. Check with the manufacturer’s manual or ask your installation company or repair person for the appropriate maintenance schedule for you. Not only does the cleaning/inspection help prevent potential problems, it will keep your unit running efficiently, lasting longer and thus save you money.
With the rising costs of fuel, there are many ways to save on the cost of your heating bill. Windows, doors, and proper insulation are the most common ways to save on heating costs. Programmable thermostats can also help keep fuel costs low. Using a programmable or manual thermostat, turn down the heat at night and during the day if you will not be home. Try to keep the temperature within 6 degrees (up or down) to consume less oil for the desired temperature. Check with your heating contractor for what will work best for you, your home, and your heating system.
Thinking About Upgrading?
If you are thinking about upgrading an inefficient heating system, there are a few options available. Replacing a unit with a higher efficiency system may require a different venting style such as a new chimney, direct vents, or a single vent. Each manufacturer has different requirements for proper installation. Many of the newer systems do not require the use of the existing chimney venting but instead might have alternative venting to the outside. This could save the time and expense of having to reline your entire chimney. If a direct vent system or single pipe system is used to vent your heating system, make sure that the vent outside is always clear from snow, ice, and debris. A plugged up vent can shut down your heating equipment, causing a possible freeze-up.
Some oil and gas companies offer a budget plan for your convenience. You can make your payments spread out over time so you are not overwhelmed with high seasonal fuel bills. A heating system repair contract might also be offered by local reputable oil and gas companies. This can offer you the worry-free convenience of absorbing repair and labor costs if your heating system should fail. Although repair contract costs vary, most larger oil and gas companies will offer a contract and budget the cost into your fuel budget plan. Call your heating company for further details, as the contract details may vary slightly from one another.
Points To Consider
- When you have no heat or hot water, call your heating technician.
- Call your heating technician immediately if you notice black soot around heating system unit or anywhere inside your home or outside near the vent. This is a serious sign of issues with your heating system. It could be a plugged chimney flue or obstruction, causing the heating unit to vent dangerous gases into your home.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors should be installed on every floor inside your home. Batteries should be changed annually.
- Know where the emergency shut off switch is for your heating system in case there is a problem.
Although winter is sure to bring colder weather, you can make sure you are kept warm and safe with a little preventative maintenance.