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Like it or not, winter is on its way! Luckily, here in Florida winter doesn’t hit us as hard as it does in other parts of the country. But chances are you still use your heater during the coldest months of the year. While there’s still a little bit of time to go before that, it’s a good idea to get a head start on what you need to know before turning your heater this winter.

And you’re in the right place to find the answers you’re looking for. Today, we’ll tell you three critical things you need to do before turning on your heater this winter. We will also share other helpful information for maintaining your HVAC system and more.

3 Things to Do Before Turning on Your Heater This Winter

Let’s kick off!

Check for a smell

Rather than turning your heater on this winter and not thinking about it again, be sure to pay close attention to any strange smells after it’s turned on.

But keep in mind, when you first start the heater up, it’s common to smell a moderate smoky odor. This is because dust may have settled on the heater when it wasn’t in use, and now it’s being burned off. If this scent persists for more than a few hours, it’s a good time to check the filters. It may even be time to clean the ducts. 

If these aren’t tasks you’re comfortable doing, be sure to call the trusted HVAC technicians at AC Care Heat & Air to help. 

If you notice smoke or fire coming from the unit, turn it off right away if it is safe to do so. Be sure to get away from the home and the area as quickly as possible and call 911 for help. 

Keep an eye on your carbon monoxide detector

If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it’s time to get one! It could end up saving your life.

This detector will let you know if the carbon monoxide levels in your home reach dangerous levels. 

The WHO shares the following recommended limits for carbon monoxide exposure:

  • 9-10 ppm for no more than 8 hours
  • 25-35 ppm for no more than 1 hour
  • 90-100 ppm for no more than 15 minutes

As for what the levels in your own home should be, the EPA explains:

“Average levels in homes without gas stoves vary from 0.5 to 5 parts per million (ppm). Levels near properly adjusted gas stoves are often 5 to 15 ppm and those near poorly adjusted stoves may be 30 ppm or higher.”

We share all of this information to remind you to keep a close eye on the carbon monoxide levels in your home after turning your heater on for the first time this winter. Gas- and oil-burning furnaces produce carbon monoxide (CO), and your detector will indicate if there’s a problem. If your detector does go off, it’s important to open the windows in your home right away. Ideally, you will evacuate the property (along with pets and other family members) and get outside while you wait for help.

Listen for any unusual noises

Finally, when you’re turning on your heater for winter, pay attention to any new noises coming from the machine. It may be a bit noisier as it first starts up or if it has a defrost cycle. But if you notice persistent knocking, banging, hissing, or other sounds, this needs attention. It might be time for a tune up or even a repair.

Other signs your heating system needs inspection include:

  • Your energy bill is increasing
  • Refusing to turn on or cutting on and off
  • Failing to heat your building or home evenly

What else should I know?

We have covered three big things you need to do before turning on your heater this winter and letting it run without a second thought. But what else do you need to know? We have a few suggestions to keep in mind as we head into cooler months!

  • Keep an eye on humidity levels: The air outside gets dryer in the winter. When you heat up the air inside of your home during this time, it gets even drier. Keep an eye on humidity levels in your home. You may notice your skin is drier than usual, it can increase your chances of getting sick, and cause your flooring to warp or crack. If humidity levels are too low in your home, it’s time to consider getting a humidifier
  • Transition slowly: Rather than going from blasting your AC to running your heater on full blast in a single day, it’s wise to slow this transition down. When you notice cooler fall temperatures set in, you could consider turning off your AC without turning the heater on. Then, once it’s even cooler, you can start to heat your home. This eases the pressure on the system and can help it run more efficiently. Not to mention, it can help keep your energy costs down!
  • Check for leaks: Speaking of energy costs, you’ll also want to identify any openings or cracks around windows and doors that could be letting cold air in. Without knowing it, these cracks could be making your heater work a whole lot harder than it needs to. As a result, your energy costs will go up too! If you can repair these cracks or gaps yourself, go ahead and do so. But if they need professional attention, don’t hesitate to get them fixed right away. Not only will they make your home colder in the winter, but they will also allow hot air into your home during the summer.

A Note on Humidity

We mentioned that low humidity levels can cause problems in your home, but the same can be said for humidity levels that get too high.

When you have excess moisture in your home, it can cause harmful mold growth and make it more difficult to breathe. Lack of ventilation can exacerbate moisture problems because there’s no air circulation, which evaporates moisture in the air. This is why it is important to have your HVAC system checked once a year. In fact, many heating and air conditioning systems include some dehumidifying devices to help maintain comfortable temperatures.

Moisture control can also improve your system’s efficiency. As a result, this extends your HVAC unit’s life and lowers your energy use.

But remember: moisture, ventilation, insulation, and proper sealing are all important factors when finding ways to improve indoor air quality. There should be a balance between all of these. Moisture control is only one part of the equation.

Call Us Before Turning on Your Heater for Winter

Is it time to replace your heat? Or is it overdue for an inspection?

If your aging heating system is no longer running efficiently in your home, it is time to think about replacing the unit. At A/C Care Heat & Air, we aim to offer suitable heating replacement services for our Stuart customers. Our technicians will determine the best unit for your unique indoor environment. Not to mention, you can expect our team to respect your equipment and surroundings. We maintain a tidy worksite and go about our installations in a professional manner. 

Our experienced team is able to work quickly without ever sacrificing quality!

Benefits of heating installation services

There are plenty of reasons to replace your underperforming heating unit before winter is in full swing:

  • More optimal heating
  • Improved air quality
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • Prolonged equipment life
  • Safer operation

If your heat pump or heating system isn’t keeping your home or business in Stuart warm enough, give A/C Care Heat and Air a call today. No heating repair job is too complex or too simple for us to take care of. We take pride in providing high-quality heating repairs at affordable prices, so call today for heating service!

Not looking for heating repair? We also offer heating installation, maintenance and AC repair.

Did you learn a lot about what to do before turning on your heater this winter?

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