Ah, early winter. The leaves are starting to crunch below your feet; you’re wearing a scarf now and then; the temperature is a slight but delightful chill. You’re loving this time of year - and we are too!
But with the first day of winter right around the corner, a cold and blustery season will be here before you know it. We want to make sure your home is as safe and comfortable as can be.
So, what should you know now for Charlotte’s coldest months ahead?
Gas Furnace Safety: Top Priority
Most importantly - safety is a top priority. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” is a major problem with the HVAC industry; in the case of winter, this applies to our furnaces - a lot of furnaces. 47% of households rely on natural gas as their main heating fuel.
If you have gas furnace heat, there are some basic principles you should know and understand.
Just like a car, furnaces need to be serviced to ensure they’re running properly. You routinely get your oil changed, your tires rotated, and your brakes checked, right? But the average car is driven less than two hours a day. The average HVAC unit is operating 6-12 hours per day!
Per manufacturer's instructions, all furnaces have safety devices that need yearly attention. These devices keep you and your family safe and your equipment reliable.
A furnace burns gas or propane through the heat exchanger, which is responsible for keeping carbon monoxide out of your house. If it fails, the results can be deadly. Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless and invisible; it causes flu-like symptoms until it overtakes you. And, it keeps building in your body, so exposure to low levels for a long period of time can add up to dangerous amounts of toxicity.
We recommend having at least two different types of CO detectors in your home, but CO detectors only sound their alarms if the actual level of CO in the house is over 30ppm. Therefore, it’s very important you have your HVAC system checked yearly to make sure everything is in safe and working order.
Also, don’t forget - given the fact that your windows have been closed up for awhile now, we recommend changing the air filter.
And perhaps something to add to your Christmas list this year? A WiFi thermostat. We gave this device a shout-out in our recent blog “Traveling Over the Holidays? Here’s Our Home To-Do List Before You Go” and deservedly so. The EPA’s Energy Star program found that a WiFi thermostat can save up to $180 per year on heating and cooling. So, before it starts to snow and ice, consider upgrading your home with a WiFi thermostat for the most efficient performance of your HVAC system. This special system allows you to manage your home’s temperature from afar and keeps you connected to the safety of your home’s system. Should any HVAC problem arise, you’ll be notified wherever you are.
We at Charlotte Mechanical will do a full and comprehensive check of your heating system, making airflow changes and other tweaks and adjustments as needed to improve performance, efficiency, and comfort in your home. And, we’ll go through your thermostat with you to make sure you understand all the features and functions.
Winter’s around the corner; call us today to make sure you’re ready for whatever the season brings!