Don’t get left in the cold. Here are some ways to get your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in top shape for winter.
Fall nights are getting chillier, and soon the winter winds will begin to blow. Is your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system up to the task?Even if it turns on when you crank up the heat, your HVAC system may not be functioning at full capacity. If that’s the case, you’re potentially putting undue strain on your system, and that often translates into more wear and tear and higher energy bills. So before the temperature drops too low, consider calling for an HVAC system tune-up — especially if you notice some of the following telltale signs.
A cold home and high energy bills
Is your furnace on, but the house doesn’t get warm no matter how high you adjust the temperature? Are your energy bills a lot higher than they used to be? Your HVAC system may have a problem. You could have a faulty thermostat, a problem with the pilot ignition, a faulty air distribution fan, or leaky or clogged ductwork. A certified heating and cooling maintenance technician can diagnose and solve the problem for you.
Air filters on a furnace clog easily, which causes the blower to work harder than it should and to use more energy. To help keep your system running efficiently, check the filter before you turn your furnace on in the winter, and replace it monthly until the spring.
Soot around the furnace or flickering flames
If you discover soot buildup, or the flame in your burner is yellow and flickering rather than strong and blue, it’s probably a sign of poor combustion and/or the presence of carbon monoxide. Call a technician to get it checked out right away.
A cracked, frayed or sagging belt
Furnaces that employ electric blowers often have fan belts. Check the belt every year to make sure it’s clean, free of cracks and properly tightened. If it’s worn out, you can replace it yourself with the same size belt, or a technician can do it for you.
After the initial comforting whoosh of the furnace turning on, your HVAC system should run pretty quietly. If you hear clanging, banging or other unusual noises, it’s most likely a sign of trouble — often indicating worn parts that are about to break. Don’t wait for the whole system to break down. Call a technician today to help determine if it’s an easy fix — or if it’s time to think about an upgrade.
You haven’t had it checked in a while
Just like a car, your HVAC system is a complicated machine that requires regular servicing. To help keep it running at optimal levels, have a preventive HVAC maintenance check done every year.
It’s old and keeps breaking down
Most HVAC systems last about 10 to 14 years if they are serviced regularly. If yours is nearing retirement and has required more than one major repair in the last two years, it may be time for an upgrade.
When you do want to schedule a heating and cooling repair or maintenance check-up, Sears Home Services can help. The reviews speak for themselves: About 80% of customers surveyed gave us a top rating of being completely satisfied. Call 1-888-565-4048 to schedule an appointment.