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Heating a home on those especially cold winter nights isn’t easy. It takes a lot of energy, which in turn leads to a spike in your monthly bill. But what’s the alternative, freezing? Of course not. While the easy answer is to say you need a new furnace, boiler, or heat pump, that’s just not always a reality. For most of us, a $2,000 (minimum) expense isn’t something we can just put on our credit cards or pay off immediately. And, what if there is a draft coming in from one of your windows? Not all of us know how to seal it, and paying a handyman isn’t ideal. Luckily, there are some improved heating hacks we can share that will help you get through the winter and make those repairs in the coming spring and summer.      

Do It Yourself Improved Heating Hacks

  • Ceiling fans

This is probably the easiest improved home heating hack there is. If you have a fan in your home, you’re in luck! Throw that sucker in reverse. Of course, it won’t suddenly blow hot air instead, but it will help pull any warm air that might be trapped up along the ceiling down to you.

  • Carpets

Those thick bear skin rugs you see couples always spooning on in the movies might be cheesy, but they actually work. Don’t run out and buy one exactly like it. Just any carpet or rug will do in common areas of your home you’d like a bit warmer.

  • Drafts

Just like weatherstripping, draft stoppers are something you can buy (or make) to help eliminate hot air from escaping under your home’s doors. It usually consists of a tube-shaped cloth that spans the length of the bottom of your door and is filled with different styles of insulated materials. You could also just hack it and roll up a blanket to fit along the bottom of your door too.

  • Cooking

This improved heating hack is not only better for you, but it’s easy too. Running the stove or oven to make meals saves on the cost of dining out as well as produces excess heat for your home. Think about it, that’s why people don’t like cooking in the summer. Time to use this tip to your advantage.

  • Dishwashers, washing machines, etc

Doing the laundry can give off a bit of heat as well. Plus clothes come out toasty warm if you need a boost of heat while you’re binging Netflix. And did you know that even when your dishwasher is half full, it still uses less water than if you were to do it by hand? Keep your clothes and dishes clean by running these appliances a bit more often in the winter.

  • Curtains

While it’s always nice to let the sun in during the day, it can actually help warm your home a bit. Be sure to close them at night though. Better yet, if you have a bit of a budget, you could always check out insulated curtains too.

Improved Heating Hacks Not Enough?

Call Novel Care Obviously doing it yourself is a creative way to get through especially cold nights, but it’s important to be safe. If you ever need emergency repair service, call 416-921-0000 anytime. We’re available 24/7 and can be there within hours of a problem to assess the situation. Put our 30 years of experience to work for you.  

5. Lubricate & Clean The Blower Motor: Check your owner’s manual to see if your motor is the kind that needs lubricating or not. Not all blower motors need lubricating, so you can save yourself a lot of work if it doesn’t. If it does, turn off the power, open the cover and clean the caps covering the bearings. Then remove the caps and lubricate the bearings. If just reading this sounds like a lot of work to you, feel free to give one of our HVAC system technicians a call and we’ll take care of it.

6. Test The Igniter Switch: An older HVAC system might have a pilot light that needs relighting if it blows out or is of for maintenance. A newer HVAC system will have a furnace with an electronic igniter switch. If the igniter isn’t working, push the reset button. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your breaker. Still not working? Call in a professional. The last thing you want to do is damage the igniter or the furnace.

7. Inspect The Chimney & Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it has no smell or taste. Chimneys can house carbon buildup or even small animals, which can lead to a blockage and carbon monoxide in your home. A professional will inspect all of the chimneys on your home to ensure that they’re safe. It’s also a good idea to routinely test or replace carbon monoxide detectors as they help protect you year round.

8. Replace The Filter And Nozzle, And Check The Tank Level Of Oil Furnaces: Unlike gas-fired systems, oil units require oil filter changes, burner nozzle cleaning and a pretty thorough heat-exchanger brushing. This keeps your entire HVAC system including your oil furnace running efficiently. Since oil doesn’t burn as cleanly as gas things can get fairly dirty and inefficient if left unattended.

Overall, there are quite a few important things that you should be taking care of at least once a year if you have and HVAC system that you take care of yourself. If home maintenance like this isn’t your thing, that’s what we’re here for. Contact us at Novel Care Toronto. We’ll give you a free quote and let you know just how quickly we can be there: 416-921-0000.

School is back in session, the leaves are starting to fall and pumpkins are popping up in festive displays all over the place. It won’t be long until you switch your HVAC system over from cooling to heating, if you haven’t already. Essentially, winter is coming and you need to ensure your HVAC system is ready. Here are some things that you need to ensure are working properly, configured properly and ready to keep your family warm.

Checking Your HVAC System

1. Turn On The Thermostat: The first thing most people do is to switch the thermostat over to heating. Setting the temperature a couple of degrees warmer this time of year doesn’t mean that your system will turn on all the time, but it’ll keep your home warm if the temperature dips slightly. If you don’t hear the furnace kick in, take the cover off your thermostat and ensure that all the wiring is properly attached and snug. Additionally, make sure that there is power to your thermostat as well as your furnace. If it’s still not working, you could check the furnace fan, blower or heat pump, but at this point it’s probably best to call a professional HVAC system technician.

2. Change The Air Filters: You may or may not already know this, but your furnace has air filters that clean the air that’s being blown around your house. Most of the time there’s only 1 filter that resides in your furnace, but some HVAC systems have filters in each of the vents throughout your home.Whether you have a single filter in your HVAC system or not they should all be changed every few months. You may not think your home is dusty until you take a look at these filters. We promise once you change them, you’ll never forget to do it again…yuck! Changing these filters means you’ll not only have cleaner air, but also it’ll help prolong the life of your furnace.

3. Cover The AC Condenser: Unless your HVAC system has a heat pump (in which case, don’t cover it at all because it runs all year), cover the condenser to protect it from falling icicles. You don’t have to completely wrap up your air conditioning systems’ condenser, but protecting the top of it from anything large falling on it can save you on repair costs come spring time. Don’t wrap it in a moisture-trapping plastic tarp.

4. Clean The Heat Exchanger: The heat exchanger in your HVAC system should be cleaned out properly at least once a year by a professional, like an HVAC technician from Novel Care. This needs to be done while the unit is disabled to avoid injury. Our technicians will look for cracks that can lead to dangerous CO2 (carbon monoxide) leaks.

NEXT

With plenty of winter still ahead, you’ll want something to help ensure you have peace of mind as the temperature continues to drop. No matter how good your furnace may be, it never hurts to have a backup plan if things go sideways unexpectedly. After all, when you know an expense is coming, it’s easier to plan for. On the other hand, surprises can leave you feeling stressed and anxious. Good thing there are companies like Novel Care offering a solution to this in the form of Furnace Protection Plan.

Is a Furnace Protection Plan a Good Investment?

Some people might be thinking twice about paying a yearly fee for this service. That’s good! You should never just blindly buy into something without giving it some thought first. This isn’t a pack of gum you’re buying. It requires you to weigh the pros and cons.

Furnace Protection Plan: Pros

  • Peace of mind
  • Eliminate surprise repair costs

The pros are pretty obvious while the cons are a bit more about testing your luck. Consider this. Having a Furnace Protection Plan keeps you covered in the event something goes wrong. That means if it’s the middle of winter and your furnace can’t keep up with the added stress of being used more often, someone can assess the situation and repair it without any charge to you. Think about that for a second. When’s the last time you got a surprise that cost more than it should? It probably made you feel pretty overwhelmed. Nothing’s worse than always thinking about “what if this breaks down” or “how much will this cost to fix?”. These can be stressors in your life you just don’t need. Especially with your furnace. Your furnace should be something that is always ready to go when you NEED it. Not sometimes. Not only on weekends. 24/7 at your request. That’s what a Furnace Protection Plan can help with.

Furnace Protection Plan: Cons

  • Do I need it?
  • I haven’t had any problems so far

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the cons. Some cynics might be thinking “my furnace works pretty well, thank you very much” or “why would I pay for something that isn’t broken?”. Both are 100% valid. Investing in a Furnace Protection Plan isn’t something you might actually need every year you pay for it. You might not even need it at all for the first couple years. A Furnace Protection Plan is there to shield you from those times you DO need it. Those times when things go wrong and a repairman is looking at you to pay a bill you don’t have the money for around the holidays, or even in the new year. Those expensive bills that just hit you like a ton of bricks. Sometimes it’s good to be prepared and avoid moments like that. Especially when you have a family to think about. Not only do you want them to stay warm against the harsh Toronto winter, but you also want that peace of mind for yourself to know everything is covered, always.

So, What is a Furnace Protection Plan Anyway?

A Furnace Protection Plan is something that would help protect you from unexpected repairs that may occur during those winter months. While other companies may be different, Novel Care offers full coverage of repairs, labour, and any parts that need replacing. Plus, our experts will perform a free 22-point inspection once a year to make sure we stay ahead of any troubles that might be coming up.

After providing furnace installation, maintenance, and repair services for over 30 years, we’re confident in recommending a Furnace Protection Plan to our customers. Leave the stress of keeping your furnace in working order to the professionals. We’ve handled thermostat troubles, pilot burner problems, furnace replacements and much more. Click here for a full list of everything we cover in our Furnace Protection Plan or just contact us at 416-921-0000! Our experts are always available to help out, so plan ahead and stay cozy this season.