If your house feels colder inside than it does outside, it's time to check a few things around your home, including your furnace and air ducts. Debris can build up inside your furnace and air ducts throughout the year, even if you don't use them. When winter arrives, the buildup can keep warm air from circulating into your home. Follow the tips below to see if you can improve the airflow in your home.
Unblock Your Registers and Air Ducts
Your air duct system relies on registers, or vents, to receive and transfer air into your home. With the exception of your attic and basement, you should have air vents in almost every room of your home, including high-traffic areas like your living room. The air in the rooms can contain human and pet hair, dust, and a host of other contaminants, which collect on the grilles of your vents.
Some of the debris traveling through your air registers can coat or stick to the interior walls of your air ducts. Eventually, the debris clogs up the ducts. The clog could potentially keep or block heated air from entering each room of the house. Without sufficient heat, your house stays cold, drafty, and uncomfortable.
If you clean your air registers and air ducts, you can remedy the problems above. Follow these steps to get started:
- Turn off your furnace.
- Fill one large bucket with warm water and 2 teaspoons of dish detergent. You can use 3 teaspoons of dish detergent if it doesn't create enough foam.
- Remove the grilles from your air registers, then wash them down in your bucket of water.
- Place the grilles on a soft cloth to dry.
- Use a vacuum to clean out the registers. You can also use a hand broom or small brush to scrub down the insides of the registers.
- Insert the head of your vacuum hose inside the air ducts to pull out dust and other debris.
- Replace the vents, the return gas and/or electric power to your furnace.
Wait for your home to warm up. If the drafts and cold air go away, you solved your heating problem. If your home remains uncomfortable, proceed with the next tip below.
Schedule Maintenance for Your Air Ducts and Furnace
Sometimes, air ducts require extensive cleanings to move air properly. In this case, you'll need to contact a heating and air conditioning specialist for assistance. A specialist will use either a high-powered vacuum or a hose to do the job properly. The method used for your home may depend on the contractor you select for services.
Your furnace may also have problems that keep it from heating your house. The blower fan might be too bogged down with dust, or the burners or heating elements may be out of order. A contractor can examine each area of your furnace to help diagnose the issue properly.
After services, you can keep your heating system and air ducts clean by changing your air filter regularly. Always change your air filter when it's visibly covered with dust and other contaminants. If use your furnace throughout the winter, you may need to change the filter more often. If you have concerns about changing your air filter, consult with a heating and air conditioning contractor.
Also, have a contractor inspect your furnace on a routine basis. Routine maintenance allows a contractor to detect heating problems before they become worse. If you don't know when to have your appliance checked, ask a contractor right away.
You can keep your home warm and toasty this season with the right steps. Don't hesitate to contact a heating and air conditioning contractor for more information today.