4 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter
byon November 10, 2017
The colder winter months are on their way. As the temperature drops outside, your HVAC system has to work hard to keep you warm inside. We’ve put together some handy tips to help you stay comfortable and avoid costly repairs or equipment replacement this winter.
- Clean your Furnace Filters
Like removing lint from your dryer trap, it’s a good idea to check and clean out any build-up of dust and dirt from your home’s air ventilation system. The goal here is to prevent over-heating of your furnace, which helps with safer operation and decreases the likelihood of regular furnace system reboots. If your filter system is not properly maintained, it could lead to complicated and expensive-to-fix problems. Remember, before beginning any maintenance work, make sure that your furnace is powered off or disconnected from the circuit breaker to ensure you’re working in a safe condition.
Thankfully, ecobee3, ecobee3 lite and ecobee4 all receive power from your furnace’s 24-volt transformer and if air flow is restricted (usually from a build up of dirt) high-limit safety switches are employed to disrupt the electrical flow. This stops any further damage to your HVAC system.
And if you ever find yourself forgetting to clean or replace your furnace filter on a regular basis, don’t worry, ecobee has you covered. Just set a reminder on your thermostat, on the ecobee mobile app, or through the web portal. Simply tap Menu –> Reminders & Alerts –> Preferences –> Furnace Filter. Learn more here.
2. Configure your Thermostat to the Right Setting
If this is your first winter with ecobee and you haven’t turned the heating function on yet, it’s a good idea to double check your thermostat to see if it’s correctly configured to your home’s heating system. Use the “Test Equipment” feature on your ecobee to do this.
To access this setting, tap on Menu –> Settings –> Installation Settings –> Test Equipment, then on OK to confirm.
If your ecobee is indicating that the heat is turned on but your heating system isn’t working, this may mean a misconfiguration occurred during installation and you will have to reconfigure the equipment. Check out our installation videos or wiring diagrams to find out more.
3. Maintaining Different Types of Furnace
Furnace/Air Hander Fan Belts and Motors
Have an older furnace system that uses a fan belt to drive the fan blower? Take a look at the fan belt and see if it’s developed cracks or looks excessively worn out. If it does look a little worn out, it’s a good idea to replace it soon. Also, make sure the tension on the fan belt isn’t too tight and lubricate it where necessary with a little bit of motor oil.
Furnace Intake or Exhaust Venting System
If you’re an owner of a high-efficiency furnace that has a sidewall vent termination, make sure you keep the area clear of any debris, leaves or snow as it starts to get colder outside. If the intake ever gets blocked, the furnace will shut-down and your thermostat will have no way of knowing that there’s an issue until you receive your first alert from ecobee.
- Activate the Humidifier
As the temperature continues to drop, your furnace will work harder to fire heat into your home. This sometimes causes the moisture level in your home to drop. Using a humidifier can be a helpful way to maximize your comfort during these cold, dry months and does a good job of alleviating dry, itchy skin, lip chapping and other winter-time grievances in your home.