fbpx

How to Maintain Your Home Heating System

Baseboard Heating

Electric Baseboard Heaters

A baseboard heater has heating elements that move along the full length of shaft. An electric baseboard is heated by an electrical current which heats up the cold air that enters from the floor and causes hot air to rise.  This baseboard system can last a long time, but there’s a trick to it, you have to keep it clean and well maintained. For this, you only really need two things,

  1. Shut off your heater’s power
  2. Keep the outside cover clean
  3. Remove any dust and debris
  4. Vacuum the unit
  5. Wipe any remaining dust with a damp cloth
  6. Re-ensemble and prepare to use

Hot Water Heaters

Hot water heaters take a bit more maintenance to run properly. It uses a radiant system rather than a forced air convection system. This type of unit heats the home using rays as opposed to waves. 

  1. Check your central boiler 
  2. Check the water temperature and pressure
  3. Lubricate the circulating pump
  4. Clean soot from the inside of the boiler’s combustion chamber
  5. Vent the radiators 
  6. Drain the boiler

Visit Do It Yourself for detailed maintenance instructions.

Radiant Heating

Maintaining your radiant heating unit is actually quite simple. The most important thing is to keep it clean. These units attract dust and debris which can cause blockages. It’s vital that you regularly check the system to wipe down the front and sides of the boiler. 

  1. Wipe away any dust and debris
  2. Check the boiler flame
  3. Run the water
  4. Check your glycol
  5. Check the pressure

Visit SF Gate for detailed maintenance instructions.

Forced Air

Like almost everything else, you need to keep your forced air furnace clean in order for it to function properly. You should clean it at least once a year and especially before you use it in the fall. 

  1. Vacuum the air inlets to remove dust
  2. Disconnect the power at the panel to prevent shocks
  3. Clean or replace filters
  4. Vacuum the furnace internals thoroughly

Visit Home Tips for detailed cleaning instructions.

Fireplace

One of the best things in life is when it’s lightly snowing outside and you curl yourself on the sofa with a good book and hot chocolate, feeling the light warmth of the fireplace tickle your skin. This romantic image is only as good as the effort you put into taking care of your fireplace. Whether it’s a gas or electric fireplace, it needs proper maintenance and cleaning regularly for safe use. The most important thing is to remember to get your fireplace inspected annually.

Gas Fireplace

Cleaning a gas fireplace can be tricky business.

  1. Turn of the gas
  2. Brush the gas logs
  3. Take out and vacuum the lava rocks
  4. Vacuum the fireplace interior
  5. Wipe down the glass covering

Visit House in Progress for detailed cleaning instructions. Electric Fireplace

  1. Disconnect from the power supply
  2. Check the wiring and electrical components
  3. Clean the Heater
  4. Clean both sides of the glass
  5. Dust the interior
  6. Remove the soot
  7. Clean the fan

Visit Compact Appliance for detailed cleaning instructions.

Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems

In case you didn’t already know, an HRV is a controlled ventilation system. It does NOT produce heat, but recovers and recycles energy from an Exhaust Air Stream. This means that it will capture the heated air from fireplace, furnace or baseboards and recycle it back into the house. An HRV will introduce fresh, warm air into the home, transfer heat to fresh air entering the home, and reduce condensation, mold and mildew. Like anything else in your home, it’s important to clean this device regularly as well.

  1. Turn off the HRV
  2. Clean or replace air filters
  3. Check exhaust hoods
  4. Clean the heat exchange core
  5. Clean the grilles and inspect the ductwork
  6. Service the fans

Visit CMHC for a full description of instructions.