It’s that time of the year, Charlotte. With forecasted lows in the 30s throughout the month of December, it’s important not to let the relatively warm highs lull you to sleep on your heating system. The holidays, of course, as joyous as they are, are nevertheless costly enough without adding a serious heating repair to the mix. Part of what we seek to do at One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning is provide the Charlotte area with the information and tools to get the most out of your HVAC system—whether you’ve called us before or not. So, with even colder weather right around the corner, we’ve put together a list of common, practical tips designed to help you maximize the lifespan of your heating system.

One Hour Technician Looking at an Air Conditioning Filter

  1. Be Kind to your Filter – Your filter is your heater’s first and last line of defense between the contaminants in your home’s air and the vital machinery of your heater. Pet dander and dust can decimate a heater’s longevity, and your filter is there to stop these elements from hampering the performance of your investment. There are three traits which define an ideal filter.
  • Fresh: Believe it or not, filters are wimps. They just can’t handle a heavy workload. They should be changed every thirty days. Homes with pets should shorten this guideline, and any home repair or remodeling that produces dust should have a filter change built right in to the job checklist.
  • Inexpensive: You don’t have to break the bank with a thick, lavishly labeled product. A practical, durable filter will protect your equipment effectively.
  • Snug: A properly sized filter will fit snugly. Selecting the wrong size filter can result in a bent or loose filter, which can allow dust to bypass the filtration system or, even worse, result in the entire filter being sucked into your heater.
  1. Take Advantage of Your Programmable Thermostat – Even if your heater is a little older and intrinsically less efficient than newer models, you can maximize its potential by lowering the temperature setting overnight and even during the day—if no one is home, that is. In fact, new and old models benefit when you lower the demand on your equipment when it’s not needed, saving it for when it counts. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, the friendly experts at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Charlotte can help you better understand your options, based on your individual needs.
  1. Limit Clutter in Mechanical Areas – Believe it or not, a heater can struggle to function properly if your storage encroaches on its space. Furnaces, for example, need a certain amount of air feeding into the system, and some of that air comes from the area immediately surrounding the unit, especially if there’s a vent visible on the vertical ductwork attached to the furnace itself. Restricting natural ventilation with boxes and clothing not only produces a fire hazard, it can also force your heater to work harder and, in the process, shorten its life dramatically.
  1. Don’t Neglect Your Vents – Paying attention to your heating vents can provide an instant and easy boost to your heating system’s efficiency. Keep an eye out for:
  • Restrictions: Furniture and other household objects can obstruct airflow and limit your system’s ability to heat your home. Make sure all wall registers have space to breathe, and periodically check floor registers—if you have them—to ensure they’re open and performing.
  • Unnecessary Heat in Low Traffic Rooms: A great way to instantly boost your heater’s efficiency is to damper heat supply vents in unoccupied rooms and close these rooms off from the higher-traffic areas of your house. Not only does this boost performance from your open vents, it allows your heater to satisfy your thermostat’s set temperature much faster, which reduces your heater’s workload and energy expenditure.
  1. Schedule Regular Maintenance – A simple and valuable tool, regularly scheduled maintenance will extend the life of your heating system and reduce the risk of costly repairs. One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning’s Comfort Club is a valuable service which entitles members to twice-yearly maintenance of their HVAC system. As colder weather approaches, having an expertly trained technician perform a full-system inspection will help protect your heating equipment from unforeseen complications or even complete malfunction during the coldest nights of the season. Of course, it will also boost the efficiency of your equipment, conserving energy and making the most of your investment.

It’s critical that homeowners keep their heaters in mind as the holidays approach. In addition to taking advantage of these simple, money saving maintenance ideas, be sure to call us at (704) 703-4220 and ask for more info on our Comfort Club Membership. At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Charlotte, we’re committed to providing expert and timely customer service, and a big part of our commitment to you is helping you maintain the highest possible return from one of the most important elements of your home: your heating system.