Every Fort Worth home could use a fall tune-up. HVAC systems, attic insulation, windows and doors are all sources of escaping heat and lost warmth. Incidentally,these are the same components of your house that need to be inspected and improved upon to make sure that your winter is both comfortable and affordable.
One of the best places to maintain energy efficiency is your HVAC system – and a fall tune-up can help. During the service call, a professional will start at your thermostat and make sure that it is in good working order. Over time, thermostats necessitate calibrations or need to be replaced because they are not keeping the right temperature. A certified technician can advise you and help you to keep your thermostat in good working order. And, it is a great place to start when looking to increase home efficiency in your Fort Worth home.
The technician’s next stop will be the furnace itself. During a fall tune-up, the technician will take the time to really get into the guts of the operation. The summer can leave nests of insects and rodents in the electrical and mechanical parts. Combine this with dirt and debris, and you have a situation that can lead to HVAC system failure. The basic job of the technician in this phase is to clean all of this mess out. While in the furnace, the technician will review all mechanical components and give them a thorough cleaning. This also means inspecting the blower motor to make sure it is working properly, as well as greasing the blower bearings. These motors are just like any other motor or machine with mechanical parts. They need to be greased every so often so that the metal structures do not wear themselves out.
The next components of the evaluation are the most critical parts of the fall tune-up – the burner and the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger houses the oxygen that is lit and maintained so that the blower can send warm air throughout your home. It is the source of your home’s heat, and if it is cracked, carbon monoxide can leak out into your home.
Carbon monoxide poses extreme danger. It is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can cause immediate death if inhaled. It is the result of incomplete combustion of a compound, and it is highly toxic if inhaled. The sad truth is that hundreds of people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. However, it is preventable, and if you know what to look for, then you can stop yourself from falling victim to it. Carbon monoxide poisoning manifests as flu-like symptoms, so they often go unnoticed. If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, however, you can be alerted immediately if carbon monoxide is present in the air.
A good fall tune-up on your HVAC system means keeping your furnace and forced air system in good working order, but it also keeps you safe and gives you peace of mind.
Additional fall tune-up tips include:
– Ensuring that there are no flammable liquids around the furnace. This mean gas cans, lawnmowers or anything that can easily catch on fire.
– Maintaining clean filters by changing your air filter out every month. On top of breathing clean air, this can make sure your filter is not so clogged with dirt and debris that your HVAC system can’t push through it causing failure.
But no fall tune-up is complete with just ensuring your HVAC system is running right and efficient. Home efficiency involves sealing off your home so that heat cannot travel out. The basic principle behind this includes installing home insulation that will stop the exchange of heat.
Carefully consider everything you have done while performing the HVAC fall tune-up – you made sure that everything was in order for a full winter efficient run. Your furnace will now be operating efficiently and producing warm air. But, if your warm air escapes through areas with inadequate insulation, then your HVAC system has to work harder to keep the house warm. It is imperative that you take the appropriate
steps to make sure your home is both using and keeping the air it produces.
Some areas of improvement could include insulation in the attic and walls, sealing ports of utility entries and insulating doors and windows. Insulation provides you with a better R-value, which is what measures the resistance given to heat transfer. A higher R-value is good for both winter and summer. During the fall tune-up, consider having a home energy audit performed as well – this way, you can see for yourself where the heat is being lost, or gained.
A visual attic insulation inspection is a good place to start. Are there any signs of rodents nesting, such as droppings or the critters themselves? If there are, then you need to get them out immediately. Rodents not only chew into your insulation, but they also chew through electrical lines – leaving you with a whole other problem to deal with. Is your insulation in good condition? Service contractors such as cable guys and electrical repair workers have probably trounced all over the insulation.
A leaky roof could have also caused mold growth. No matter the cause, faulty insulation should be replaced, especially if there is visible damage or mold present. Homeowners who upgrade entry doors from wood to steel will also see improvements in efficiency since steel doors provide a higher R-value, especially those that have an insulated interior. Window upgrades may also be necessary and recommended during the fall tune-up. Old windows are not insulated and they do not have the low-E applied to them which causes heat to reflect back in the direction from which it came.
Home efficiency and regular inspections like fall tune-ups have the potential to save homeowners thousands as the years go by.
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