Even though you’re about to turn your heating system off for the summer, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it just yet. Before you press that off switch on your heater for the summer, you should summerize your heating system. Summerizing is just preparing it to be dormant for the summer. When you prepare your heating system for the summer, you will be…
- Save you money on your energy bills next winter
- Keeps your home safe from potential poisonous gas leaks
- Extends the life of your heating system, which should be 10+ years
- Prepares you to be ready for next winter
Of course, we’re still going to have some cold days in the Havertown, PA area during the spring. You may need to use your heater at different times during March, and maybe even very early April.
By the time you are ready to turn your AC on, your heating system will have put in a lot of work over the winter. It’s easy to just turn your heating system off and turn the AC on, but a little work now can save you time and money in a few months when the heating system is needed again.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your heating system is ready to hibernate this summer, and will be ready to rock next winter!
First, let’s go over some DIY stuff that you can take care of. After that, we’ll look at what a certified, licensed HVAC technician does to make sure your heating system is ready to turn off.
How can I prepare my heater for summer?
One of the most basic tasks that is quick and easy for your system is changing the air filter. Changing your air filter is something you should do a few times a year, and it not only helps you breath easier, but also has benefits for your HVAC system.
The filter is designed to catch dirt and debris that go through the air in the system. This filter is meant to keep all these airborne irritants from circulating throughout the air in your home.
When the air filter is old and dirty, it makes it harder on people who suffer from asthma, allergies, or any other kind of breathing problems. Even if you don’t have breathing problems, having these irritants in the air can cause you to feel tired and drowsy.
Eventually, these filters will get clogged and dirty. Once they are clogged up, it starts to cause blockage and doesn’t allow air to properly flow through the HVAC system. This causes the system to run harder to keep your home comfortable. This will not only do damage to your HVAC system, but you’ll be breathing less than clean air, and pay more in energy bills.
Fortunately, changing your filter is quick and easy: Setting a reminder for yourself to change it every summer and winter is helpful.
The filters usually cost around $10 – $50 depending on the style. When you replace it, you need to find the current one, and remove it. Then, just slide the new one in. There shouldn’t be anything you need to take apart or reassemble. This is a very easy and straight forward task.
Once you’ve taken care of the filter, you’ll want the pros to handle the rest.
Why should a professional summerize my furnace?
Now that your filter is fresh, let’s take a look at what a professional is going to do to keep your system in solid shape for the summer. A licensed, certified HVAC tech will:
- Clean out soot and scale
- Check for damage, or normal wear and tear
- Fill your tank if it’s an oil system
Let’s start with the soot and scale. These are both residues of burning fuel. If there is too much soot or scale, your heating system won’t run as smoothly, and will start to lose efficiency. If the buildup becomes too much, it can even be dangerous.
Soot is the residue that is left over when you burn fossil fuels such as gas or oil. It’s black and powdery and made up of carbon deposits and other fine particles. You’ve probably seen it before, and it’s a very common term when dealing with chimnies.
On the other hand, scale is pretty much just rust. These are flakes that are created when mineral buildup is exposed to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Scale builds up on pipes and falls onto burners.
Both of these can make it harder for your HVAC system to heat your home. If they build up inside your system, they prevent the air from flowing properly. As a result, your heater uses more energy to get the job done.
And, both can also affect your indoor air quality. If there’s too much soot or scale in your HVAC system, little particles of that can be swept up by the air in your HVAC system, and start to circulate throughout your home. this stuff is not meant to be in our bodies, and breathing it in is no good.
There are even more risks when there is significant soot build-up: It could start a fire or carbon monoxide, a very poisonous gas, to build-up.
The soot itself is flammable. If it starts to build up, it can become a hazard! And, as it clogs your system, it also traps carbon monoxide, a gas produced when burning fuel, that is meant to be expelled outside of your home. This gas is odorless and colorless, so unless you have a carbon monoxide detector (which you should), it’s tough to even tell if there is a build up. If there is carbon monoxide though, it is EXTREMELY dangerous, and can even cause death.
Fortunately, when you have a professional service your system, they can detect all this and clean it out. This will prevent these problems from arising, and you should be in good shape.
Regular maintenance for your heating system
After you’ve cleaned out soot and scale, your HVAC tech checks for damage to the system. This could be normal wear and tear, or maybe something more. If your system requires oil, it also may be filled up at this point.
Refilling your oil is easy enough. It’s usually just a quick phone call to your provider, and it also tends to be cheaper in the warmer months. This makes the spring a good time to fill up on oil.
Once you are oiled up, the tech will look for damage to your system. Now, you may be asking yourself, “I had this done before the winter. Why do I need it again?”
If you had service before the winter started, then someone did go through those maintenance steps. But, that was before you put your HVAC system through a winter of work!
If you are about ready to put your heater to bed for the winter, now’s a good time to have someone take another look at it. If you noticed any weird sounds or odd behavior, you’ll definitely want a professional to check it out before next winter. If the unit is more than ten years old, having a professional set of eyes on it is important.
By doing this, you’ll know if there are any significant problems, and you’ll be able to get ahead of them before next winter.
Once it starts getting warm out, this is going to leave your mind. Get ahead of the curve and have your heater summerized soon!
Are you ready to summerize your furnace? Contact John Cipollone Inc. to make sure you’re all set for next winter.