Helpful Tips from Your Local Heating Contractor in MobilePublished on: November 30, 2012
Your Mobile AL heating specialists want you to know that you can stay warm and toasty this winter while saving money on your energy bills. You simply need to use the five tips below in order to keep your heater running efficiently all winter long. If you do have any questions or concerns, however, remember that there is an experienced heating contractor in Mobile who can help.
Schedule Routine Heating Maintenance in the Fall
Just as regular oil changes are important in maintaining the function of your car, routine maintenance is important in maintaining the function of your Mobile AL heating system, and the best time to schedule this maintenance is during the fall. This is because heating contractors are not as busy before the chill of winter sets in, so you can schedule an appointment at your convenience. Also, by having system maintenance done early, you can make sure your heater is fully operational and ready to go before temperatures drop. If there is a problem, you will have time to fix it. If, on the other hand, you put off routine maintenance and discover a problem when the weather is cold, you risk being forced to go without heat until you can get an appointment with a heating contractor during the busiest time of the year.
Use a Factory Authorized Dealer
It is extremely important that you only use a heating contractor who has been designated as a factory authorized dealer for your system’s brand. This means that if you have a Carrier system, you need to use a Carrier factory authorized dealer. First of all, factory authorized dealers are experts in their brands. They must perform to national standards of competence and fair business practices and undergo training in the maintenance, installation and repair of their brand’s equipment. In addition, authorized dealers follow strict, system-specific protocols and are familiar with the brand’s warranty requirements, so you do not have to worry about your warranty being voided by inappropriate service. To make sure your system is installed maintained or repaired properly, make sure to choose an authorized heating contractor in Mobile.
Change Your Filters
You should examine your system’s filters every month, and clean or change them as necessary. Having clean filters significantly improves the air quality in your home because dirty filters allow dust, allergens, pet dander and other contaminants to circulate through your system and contaminate the air. In addition, clean filters make your system run more efficiently. This is because as filters become clogged with particles, it becomes more difficult for air to pass through them. When this occurs, your heating system has to expend extra energy to push the air through the dirty filters. In addition to being unhealthy, this is also expensive because increased energy use translates to higher electric bills.
The added stress on your heater caused by dirty filters can also reduce your system’s lifespan by making it more likely to break down. When this happens, you end up with no heat and have to contend with expensive repair bills. Fortunately, filters are inexpensive and easily replaced, so there is no reason to skip this important monthly maintenance task.
Seal and Insulate Your Home
Make sure that the heat you are paying for does not escape unnecessarily. This means making sure your home is properly insulated and sealing drafts around your doors, windows, fireplace flues and other openings with caulk or weather stripping. If you have drafts around your electrical outlets, you can install gaskets, which are sold in home improvement stores for this purpose, to prevent cold air from entering through these openings. In addition to obvious drafts in your living area, also check for drafts in your attic or crawl space, and seal any that you find. Drafts in these areas are common and frequently go unnoticed. Also, make sure to seal the seams in any accessible heating ducts with sealant or foil tape, and insulate the ducts. This is important because you can lose 60 percent of your heated air through leaky ducts. If you suspect your ducts are especially leaky or you have any questions about how to make sure they are properly sealed or insulated, consult a local heating contractor.
Manage Your Thermostat Wisely
A programmable thermostat can significantly increase your comfort and decrease your heating bills. In fact, the government’s Energy Star program estimates that proper use of a programmable thermostat could save the average household $180 per year in energy costs. To set your thermostat properly, set it according to your family’s schedule. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that for the winter, you set your thermostat to drop by 8 degrees when you and your family are away or sleeping. When you go out of town, use the thermostat’s hold or vacation setting to save energy while you are away. If you have questions about how to further optimize your thermostat’s settings to fit your family’s schedule or if you do not already have a programmable thermostat, consult with a heating contractor in Mobile about making improvements to your system.
Any heating contractor will tell you that by performing preventative maintenance and making small changes, you can save money and help prevent heater problems. By following the suggestions above, you will reduce your energy usage while keeping warm this winter.