How to Summer-Ize Your Heating System!
Your heating system is probably the last thing on your mind right now, as temperatures reach for and often top the 90-degree mark here in Sullivan County. But that doesn’t mean you should put it completely out of your mind.
Taking a few quick steps now will make sure your heating equipment is ready to answer the bell for another round a few months down the road. It will probably also help you save more money in the long run (and the short run, too).
Here are some steps you can take to “summer-ize” your heating system in the weeks ahead.
1. Clean away soot and scale.
Just like the ash that’s created when you make a fire, soot and scale gather as a result of burning heating oil in your furnace or boiler (soot is a black, powdery carbon deposit; scale is flakes of rust and minerals created by carbon dioxide and water vapor). Both can fall on burners or build up in pipes.
The problem with soot and scale is that they reduce the efficiency of your heating system, and could even lead to a breakdown if left unaddressed. Soot can also become a fire hazard if it builds up, and can also lead to potentially dangerous problems with carbon monoxide in your home.
While removing soot and scale build up might be something you can do yourself, we highly recommend that you leave it to the pros (see tip #3).
2. Change the air filter.
Air filters are an important part of a forced-air heating system (a system that warms your home using heated air: if you have vents and a furnace rather than baseboards and radiators, you have a forced air system).
An air filter’s job is to remove dust and other particles from the air in your home, keeping it clean and healthy for your family. They’re really good at it, too – so good that after a while, the air filter will become clogged with stuff like pet fur and dust. At that point, you’ll have to either remove the filter or clean it, depending on the model of furnace you have (some use disposable filters, others have reusable filters – see your owner’s manual for more information).
Changing an air filter is inexpensive and simple to do. If you only have a furnace, you should check the air filter every six to eight weeks – more frequently if you have pets that shed – during heating season. If your system also includes an air conditioner, you should keep that filter-checking schedule year-round.
Either way, early summer is the perfect time to swap in a new HVAC filter.
3. Service your equipment.
Your furnace labored well into spring this year to keep your family comfortable. Now, it’s time to make sure it can make it through another one.
Having your heating system serviced now will help you catch wear and tear early so your equipment will run at peak efficiency from day one of heating season 2021/22. If the worst happens and you have to have your equipment repaired or replaced, you’ll also pay less for those services than you will at the height of winter. Getting a convenient appointment time is also easier than it will be in late summer.
4. Fill your oil tank.
Filling your oil tank during the summer has two big advantages: first, it will likely save you money on fuel, since prices tend to rise with demand.
But there’s a second reason to schedule an oil delivery now rather than waiting: it could prevent corrosion in your tank. As temperatures change, condensation (water) forms on the inside of an empty tank – just as it does on a glass of cold water on a hot day.
The presence of water is bad for your tank in two ways: first, it encourages bacteria to grow in your fuel, which will eventually turn your oil thick enough to clog your fuel lines. Second, water can sink to the bottom of your tank and rot it from the inside-out – a problem you won’t see coming until it’s too late.
Take some heat off your heating system this summer with these tips – plus expert heating system service and heating oil delivery in Sullivan County, NY from the pros at Black Bear. Contact us today to learn more!