It’s no secret that winter can be tough in Canada. Above all, winter is not the season to take any chances with your heating system. Fall is when you need to start preparing your heating system to ensure it works properly when you need it the most. Therefore, it’s prudent to add “heating system servicing” to your fall home maintenance task list. With a little advance planning, you’ll be toasty warm all winter long. Here are 5 steps to help you winterize your home heating system.

5 Steps to Winterize Your Home Heating System

1. Schedule a Pre-season Heating System Tune-up

A professional maintenance check by a qualified HVAC contractor is the best way to ensure your heating system is primed for winter. A contractor will check the vents, thermostat and air ducts. Also, they’ll lubricate moving parts and tighten electrical connections. For boiler-equipped homes, they’ll inspect the damper, exhaust fan, firebox, heat exchanger and the sediment drain from the boiler.

2. Change Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter forces your furnace to work too hard. Therefore, it can cause a complete heating system shutdown. So, don’t overlook this simple, yet critical, routine, do-it-yourself task.

3. Check Your Outside Exhaust Vents and Chimneys

While the weather’s still nice, take the time to check your vents. Ensure they’re not blocked. Or, better yet, call a qualified HVAC contractor.  They’ll ensure your vents aren’t blocked as part of their regular maintenance check. A blocked chimney or vent can cause dangerous carbon monoxide gas to back up into your home. So, it’s an important part of pre-winter maintenance.

4. Lower Your Thermostat and Put on Your Sweater

As the weather starts to cool, turning the temperature down a couple of degrees relieves the pressure on your heating system. If you have a multiple zone system, turn down the thermostat in rooms that are seldom used.

5. Close Vents in Unused Rooms

Many heating systems include vents in rooms that are rarely used and don’t need to be heated. For instance, in areas like attics, basements and crawl spaces. Closing vents in these areas will help keep warm air circulating where you need it the most. However, be sure to keep the vents open where exposed water pipes are located, to prevent freezing.

To sum up, be pro-active and don’t wait to winterize your home heating system. Act now to make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the chillier months ahead. You’ll be glad you did.

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