Fall has been a little slow to arrive here in Suffolk County – great news if you’re a fan of summer, not so great if you’re a lover of autumn. But as we all know, cool weather will eventually reach Long Island – and when it does, you’ll be relying more and more on your oil furnace to keep your family safe and comfortable. Before that time comes, it’s a good idea to take care of some of the tasks that will help your forced-air heating system to operate at its best in the coming months. Here are seven things you can do right now to prepare your heating oil furnace and heating system for cooler weather:
Change your air filter – Overwork is the enemy of a heating system: it decreases energy efficiency, shortens equipment life, and increases the likelihood of a having a heating system breakdown. A clogged air filter will make your heating system overwork, so make sure you check your air filter once a month, replacing it (or cleaning it, depending on the model) when needed.
Clear vents – Keep warm air circulating in your living space! Do a quick run-through of your home to make sure no drapes, carpeting, furniture, or other objects are blocking your vents.
Clean return air registers – Return air vents are an important and often overlooked part of a forced air heating system. These vents allow the air that is circulating in your home to return to the system to be re-heated and re-filtered to maintain proper temperature and air quality in your LI home. Keep them dust free to maintain efficiency and indoor air quality.
Install a programmable or smart thermostat – Your thermostat is a key to home energy efficiency; by programming it to manage heat when you’re home, asleep or away and you could save as much as 10 percent on your heating bill in the coming months, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You’ll also save wear and tear on your equipment, which will reduce the need for heating repairs and increase the lifespan of your heating equipment.
Test all smoke and CO monitors – Test the batteries on all home comfort alarms at least twice a year to make sure everything is in working order. A good rule of thumb is to test them when you change your clocks during fall and spring (coming up on November 3).