Before You Switch From Cooling To Heating in Sudbury, Ontario!
It’s official - fall arrives tomorrow!
Pumpkins and sweaters are in full swing. Kids are back in school. Thanksgiving and Halloween are just around the corner!
While we have mixed feelings about saying goodbye to summer, we can’t deny our excitement for fall.
After all, heating is in our name!
From fireplaces to furnaces, we work with all kinds of heating systems.
We wrote this article to get you in the cosy, fall mood and us hyped for the season ahead!
In it, you’ll find everything you need to know about switching from A/C to heat.
The Risk of Waiting For Cold Weather To Arrive
Powering up home heating in Sudbury, Ontario, isn’t usually a proactive thought. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t get a lot of warning before that first frost hits.
This typically means you wake up to a frigid morning - frantically trying to warm your home up.
While this frantic running around might work in a pinch, it’s not ideal. Not only are you left with the risk of bad air quality and an inefficient system, but you also put your plumbing at risk!
Frozen pipes are no joke. They can lead to some pricy plumbing repairs and even cause water damage to your home.
So, how do you ensure your switch from cooling to heating goes smoothly?
Start preparing today!
How To Prepare Your Heating System For a Smooth Start-Up
To some, it may seem quite early to start thinking of your heating. But we promise you it’s not!
Every year, our emergency repair team gets calls from stressed-out homeowners unprepared for the cold.
Thankfully, after a last-minute tuneup and a few plumbing repairs, they’re on their way! But not without a few unexpected bills…
Preparing your heating system in advance ensures:
- Peak Performance
- Optimal Functionality
- High Efficiency
- Fewer Repairs Throughout The Year
- Lower Heating Bills
- 24/7 System Reliability
Here’s how to get started!
1. Replace The Air Filter
We recommend replacing your air filter at least every 90 days.
Because a clean filter helps ensure a high-functioning system.
Not only does it keep your system moving air efficiently, but it also ensures that the air is clean.
Clogged air filters wreak havoc on your system and air quality - not a great start to the season!
How do you change your furnace filter on your own? We wrote a whole blog about caring for your furnace filter last year!
Give it a read, and call us if you have any questions.
2. Clear Away Obstructions
Everyone needs space to breathe - even your heating system!
The area you have to clear depends on which system you have.
For example, if you have a fireplace, you’ll want to ensure,
a) The area surrounding it is clear of fire hazards and
b) The chimney flue is clear to prevent smoke and soot in your home.
If you have a furnace, you’ll want to ensure,
a) No nearby clutter can cause a safety issue,
b) No nearby items can reduce airflow, and
c) No nearby products can emit fumes or cause a fire hazard.
What if you have a heat pump?
With a heat pump, you’ll want to focus on the outdoor unit. Here, you’ll ensure no nearby shrubs/bushes are reducing airflow and system performance.
If you have a heat pump, we recommend reading up on preparing your heat pump for peak performance this fall. While many steps are the same from system to system, there are a few specifics to note for a heat pump.
3. Clean Your Heating System
For optimal performance, you should also clean the internal components of your system.
This will, again, differ from system to system.
If you have a fireplace, you’ll need to clean the
- Glass Covering
We also recommend clearing the ash and scrubbing out grime with a bristol brush.
If you have a furnace, we recommend focusing your efforts on cleaning the
Cleaning these parts helps ensure the system runs smoothly. It also helps prevent that classic burning dust smell at the start of the year.
4. Clean Your Ductwork/Vents/Chimney
Next up, clean your ductwork, vents and chimney flues (depending on which system you have).
It’s crazy how much dust, dirt and grime pile up in these areas.
We recommend having your ducts and vents cleaned every 3-5 years. If you live in a dustier area (i.e. on a farm), you may want to up it to every 1-2 years.
Your chimney, on the other hand, should have an annual cleaning.
Typically, we’d recommend this cleaning in the spring, as the buildup is easier to clean then. However, if you missed it this last spring, you can still do it now!
5. Test Your Devices
Once your system is clean, it’s time to test things out.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
First up is your carbon monoxide detector.
Psst…we actually recommend that you do this monthly!
To test it, press and hold the test button on the alarm. You should hear 4 beeps, a pause and then 4 beefs for 4-5 seconds (may differ for your specific model).
Don’t forget to change the batteries every 6 months!
Whether your smoke alarm is battery-powered or hardwired, it’s easy to test!
Just press the button on your smoke alarm and hold it down. If the alarm sounds, it’s good to go!
Like your CO detector, don’t forget to change your smoke alarm’s batteries every 6 months!
Turn your thermostat to heat and listen for your furnace to power up. If you hear it cycle on and feel the heat coming from your floor vents, it’s good to go!
If you don’t, it’s time to give our heating techs a call.
6. Schedule Your Fall Furnace Maintenance
Lastly, schedule your fall furnace tuneup!
This is typically a precautionary step that we recommend to
a) Ensure optimal performance all winter long,
b) Reduce the risk of unexpected repairs,
c) Help lower your heating bills.
It also helps elongate your system’s life span and ensure good air quality!
When To Switch From A/C To Heat
We recommend switching to heat when outdoor temperatures drop below 60 degrees. However, every home is different! Your heating preference might be slightly higher or lower than that.
The key is to ensure your heat is on before that first frost. This will help prevent plumbing repairs and water damage in your home!
Is it okay to switch between air conditioning and heating?
If you do it correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem!
- Always wait until your system completes its current cycle before switching.
- Don’t set your thermostat too high or low - this could cause unnecessary strain on your system.
What is the best temperature to set your thermostat in the fall/?
We all know the stress of high heating costs.
To help lower those unwelcome bills, we recommend using the following guide:
- Set your thermostat to 20 degrees C while you are home during the day.
- Set your thermostat to 17 degrees C overnight or when nobody is home.
Keeping your thermostat settings within this range ensures a safe and comfortable temperature. It also prevents unnecessarily stressing out your system or raising your heating bills.
More tips to help keep your home warm for less!
Things To Remember For When You First Turn The Heat Up
Here are a couple of things to remember when turning your system on for the first time:
Be Patient - Don’t Rush it!
A common mistake that many homeowners make is cranking the heat up right away.
This is not something we recommend, as it puts unnecessary strain on your furnace. This can leave you with a ridiculous furnace repair and heating bill!
Instead, we recommend taking the process slow. When temperatures start to drop, turn your A/C off.
Then, as it gets colder, turn the furnace on at a lower temperature. Slowly, over a few days, you can raise the temperature to your preference!
Don’t Ignore Strange Noises or Smells
During that first week of heat, we recommend paying close attention to the smells and sounds of your home. Does anything seem off?
Some furnace noises, like a pop, click or dull hum, are typical. But strange furnace noises, like shrieking or whistling, can point to a repair issue.
Smells, like must, rotten eggs or burning plastic, should also sound alarm bells in your mind.
Here are a few more furnace warning signs to look out for!
Start The Season Off Right With Campeau Heating
Ready for a warm and cosy fall season ahead?
Get in touch with our Campeau Heating technicians today! We ensure high efficiency and affordable heating in Sudbury homes all winter!
Call us at 705-560-2441 or contact us online!