Reminders as we Enter the Cooler Season

Homeowners Life Smart
Many of us Canadians enter the fall season by enjoying the cool, crisp air and the ability to pull on sweaters and light jackets after a hot summer. But this is often short lived as memories from winters past start to set in, and knowledge that we can never fully deny the inevitable. Be that as it might, many of us do try to deny the colder temperatures for as long as possible, often bragging to each other that we haven’t yet turned on our furnace. Because, Canadians are tough. And also – who doesn’t want to maximize on some energy savings by skipping both the air conditioner and the heater?

The Time is Now – for a Routine Service

As much as we like to put it off, it is time for a couple of reminders about our heatings systems, or HVACs (heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems).

  1. As a preventative measure, all heating and cooling systems should be inspected and serviced annually by an HVAC technician. Annual service and repair contracts are recommended, and the fall is an ideal time to get this done. Don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today – when something goes wrong and the weather is blustering outside, you’ll regret it.
  1. If this is going to be your first winter in your new home, this would also be a good time to get your entire heating and cooling system completely evaluated and fully serviced. This will establish a base date of good annual maintenance.
  1. Don’t forget that if you rent, your landlord is required to keep heating systems in good working order and to provide adequate heat unless lease agreements define occupant responsibility. A gentle reminder to your landlord for an annual check up isn’t a bad thing!

Emergency Shut Off Placement is Important

Your routine service should catch this if there were ever a concern, but another important HVAC tip is that the emergency shut off needs to be easily located so that the homeowner does not need to pass the heating appliance in order to deactivate the shut off switch. If you have an older system that doesn’t conform to this, please make sure you contact a certified electrician to make the update.

Don’t Ignore Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your routine service call is extremely important, but equally important will be testing and replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is closely related to furnace testing because any malfunctions in your home heating equipment can cause household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you don’t already have them, install carbon monoxide detectors in all bedrooms and sleeping areas. And if you do have them – check the expiry date! Most detectors have a life expectancy of 5-7 years.

We know it’s very tempting to ignore your heater until you finally break down and accept it’s actually that time of year again. However, the longer you wait for your annual service, the less time you’ll have for repairs if something goes wrong.

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