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How to Prepare Your Heating System for Winter

October 1, 2015

It's that time of year again- the leaves are falling from the trees, the weather is getting colder and colder, and children have started looking for snowflakes again. What does this mean for you? You could kick back and watch a game of football, or brew a big pot of hot chocolate, or you could prepare your home's heating system for demanding changes in temperature and probable extreme weather. All it takes is a simple weekend or two to ensure that your furnace, fireplace, or other source of heat is up to the job at hand when it comes time for winter's blistery wind gusts.

Preparing your Furnace for Winter

It's easier than you might think to get your furnace in order for the winter. The most important thing to do is simply to change the filter, so that you're absorbing as many allergens, dust, molds, and pollen as you can with a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) so that your lungs and sinuses will thank you. Additionally, simply changing the filter can save you huge amounts of money on your heating bill!

Also, you should check the following parts of your furnace:

-Clean out the vents, removing any dust, particulates, or hair that could be trapped in venting ducts. Sometimes using the extension on a vacuum can help you reach further.

-Move anything that could possibly block air or heat up around a furnace, including junk or debris.

-Bleed your furnace valves, especially if you own a hot water radiator.

-Inspect your furnace exhaust and make sure that the flue (which is where furnace is exhausted) are clear from obstructions (like leaves, dirt, or branches).

Preparing your Fireplace or Stove for Winter

Start by inspecting your firebox for creosote and soot, and remove them with a sharp brush. If your chimney is especially dirty it's best to hire a chimney sweeper rather than attempt it yourself,.

You can clean:

-The damper- Just ensure that you can open and close the damper without any issues, cleaning it of soot. If it doesn't fit, you might have a warped or worn damper, in which case you'll need to buy a new one.

-Your chimney exterior- The brick and mortar of your chimney should be crack-free, and free from rodent or bird's nests. Chimney caps work best for keeping animals out.

-Clear space for your fire place- simply moving everything out of the way can sometimes help. Make sure there are no kindling materials (like newspaper or other flammables) near the fireplace/stove.

 

When it comes down to it, there's a lot you can do to prepare your house for winter. In addition to your home heating, don’t forget that your plumbing system also could benefit from being winterized. Contact the experts at Tap Roots for more information and be ready when winter comes!


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