Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Fall has arrived! In many areas around the country, that means that the heating season is right around the corner! It’s important to be sure that our heating systems and our homes are properly prepped for the heating season, and here’s how:

  1. ​​Inspect windows and doors. Window should have properly fitted storm windows. Windows should open and closely easily. Weep holes should be functional and not blocked with debris. (Clean with pipe cleaners). Is the weatherstripping around your window perimeters in working condition? Exterior doors?

  2. Seal leaks around windows, doors, pipes, recessed lighting, and electrical outlets. Seal door leaks with weather-stripping or a door sweep; seal window leaks with caulking. You can add gaskets to outlets on outside walls. We had one of our inspectors try it and here were his results.

  3. Consider sealing more “hidden” air leaks like at your duct work. Seal ductwork joints with high-quality foil tape or mastic paste (despite the name, avoid duct tape). But don’t go overboard sealing the home in general. Your home still needs to “breathe.” Make sure your home retains heat but also provides enough fresh air to maintain good indoor air quality.

  4. Consider purchasing a properly sized cover for your air conditioning condensing unit. If not already, very soon you’ll be turning off that cool air device and you’ll want it covered to keep out winter’s ice and migrating debris.

  5. Inspect your fireplace. Working doors and screen? How about the damper? If you have a gas log, make sure the damper is restricted from closing completely. You must not allow this damper to close entirely as Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas from your pilot light must be able to escape up the chimney at all times. How long has it been since you had the fireplace chimney cleaned? Consider every 3 years.

  6. Change filters. Change the filter in a forced hot-air system monthly during the heating season to help keep the system at peak efficiency. Most homeowners can change the filters themselves.

  7. Have your heating system professionally serviced. Getting your system professionally serviced now reduces the likelihood of needing emergency service come January. As a general rule, oil systems should be cleaned and serviced annually, while gas systems should be serviced every other year.

  8. Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Read more about proper insulation and ventilation here.

  9. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now is a great time to get one installed. Be all set (pun intended!) and ready to go when winter comes.

  10. ​Upgrade where necessary. Lastly, if your home and systems are older, it may be time to consider new windows or a new heating system in order to really be prepared for the heating system this year.


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