Common Things to Check Before Turning On Your Heater

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As the chilly autumn weather settles in, many of us start to rely on our heaters to keep our homes warm and cozy. However, before you turn on that heater for the first time this season, it’s crucial to ensure everything is in working order to prevent any issues or potential hazards. In this blog post, we will discuss some common things to check before turning on your heater, giving you peace of mind and a comfortable home throughout the winter months.

1. Inspect the Furnace

The first step in the pre-heating routine should always involve a thorough inspection of the furnace. Begin by checking the exterior of the furnace for any signs of damage, such as cracks or rust, as this could indicate underlying issues. It’s essential to clear any debris or obstructions, such as leaves or dust, from the furnace and surrounding area to ensure proper airflow. Additionally, check the furnace filter and replace if necessary, as a clogged filter can decrease the efficiency of your heater.

2. Test the Thermostat

The thermostat is the control center of your heating system, so it deserves some attention before you start relying on it. Begin by checking if the thermostat is set to heat instead of cool mode, and adjust the desired temperature accordingly. Test the thermostat by turning it up a few degrees higher than the current room temperature and ensure that it kicks in the heating system promptly. If the thermostat is malfunctioning or reading inaccurately, it may be time for a replacement or professional assistance.

3. Check the Vents and Ductwork

Blocked vents and ductwork can lead to uneven heating or reduced airflow, preventing your home from reaching the desired temperature efficiently. Take a moment to inspect each vent in your home, ensuring they are open, clean, and not obstructed by furniture or other items. If you detect any signs of holes or disconnected sections in the ductwork, it’s crucial to address these issues promptly to prevent heat loss and potential damage.

4. Clear Away Flammable Objects

Before you turn on your heater, it’s crucial to create a safe environment by removing all flammable objects from the vicinity. Check that no furniture, curtains, or other combustible items are placed too close to the heater, as this can pose a fire hazard. Keep a clear space of at least three feet around the heater to ensure proper ventilation and reduce the risks associated with accidental fires.

5. Ensure Proper Carbon Monoxide Detection

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that can be extremely dangerous if not detected promptly. Although modern heating systems are designed to minimize CO emissions, it’s essential to have functioning CO detectors installed throughout your home. Check that your detectors are in good working condition by testing them and replacing the batteries if needed. Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning can be life-threatening, so it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions.

6. Schedule a Professional Inspection

While there are certain checks you can perform on your own, it’s always a good idea to schedule a professional inspection before the heating season starts. HVAC professionals have the expertise and knowledge to identify potential issues and perform any necessary maintenance or repairs. They can also ensure that your heating system is operating at maximum efficiency, saving you money on energy bills in the long run.

Summary

Taking a few minutes to check some common things before turning on your heater can help ensure a warm and cozy home throughout the winter season. By inspecting the furnace, testing the thermostat, checking vents and ductwork, clearing away flammable objects, ensuring proper carbon monoxide detection, and scheduling a professional inspection, you can prevent potential issues and enjoy a comfortable and safe winter experience. Stay warm, stay safe!

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