Heating System Checklist
- Have the furnace checked by a service technician
- Replace the air filter
- Clear obstacles to heating vents, so air can freely flow.
- Check for carbon monoxide leaks
Wood-burning Fireplace, Chimney, and Flue
- Check to make sure the chimney is clear of any blockages
- Check flue damper operation. Make sure it opens and closes fully, and that it is can be locked in the open or closed position.
- Check chimney draft. Make sure the chimney will draw up the fire and smoke properly. Test this by taking several sheets of newspaper and rolling them up. Then with the fireplace damper in the open position, light the newspaper in the fireplace. The smoke should rise up the chimney. If it doesn't, you have an obstruction and need to call a professional in to clean the chimney of creosote and ash and possible debris.
- If it has been several years (or never) since you had your fireplace chimney cleaned, you should have it done by a professional chimney sweep.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
- Known as hose bibbs or sill-cocks, the exterior faucet needs to have its water supply turned off inside the house, and you also need to drain water from it by opening up the exterior faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bibb. And remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the sillcocks or outside faucets, and drain them if you store them outside.
- If you are shutting down a property for several months you should always shut off the water supply and drain the plumbing system.
- Crack a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house. A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses.
- Keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees when leaving your house for several days.