Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tune Up Your Home's Heater

My last blog was about troubleshooting your thermostat when your air conditioner or heater is ill and not doing just what you tell it to. This is always (well, almost) the first thing to look at since it's easy to do and can save you some money on a service call.

If the problem is any worse, the average DIY type might not be able to take care of it. For instance, the stiff regulations for buying and venting refrigerant mean that if you're not licensed you'll have to call someone that is. Unless you've got some good connections to the black market, but you didn't hear that from me!

Questions about Home Heating Systems

Due to the responses I got from both blog readers and the readers of the original thermostat troubleshooting article over at my page at Suite101, I went a little deeper explaining home heating systems, both air distributions and water distribution systems.

So I wrote an article on how heating systems work.

Granted, it took a bit of research for the boiler and radiator systems. There's not many of them here in South Texas. The only time I've really been exposed to radiators was when I was stationed in Maine. Brrrrr!

Tune Up Your Thermostat and Ductwork

But there are a number of things you can do to tweak your system. These are things I do at least once a year, sometimes twice. The no-brainer is to keep a high-quality clean air filter at the return. The next thing is to clean your thermostat and adjust the thermostat anticipator. Both procedures are outlined in the article.

Replacing flexible ducts is another thing you can do, and this is the time of year to do it if your ductwork is in the attic (summer is too hot). I did this in my house a few years ago and used the opportunity to balance the air flow throughout my home's registers. I don't know what the builders were thinking.

Stay tuned; I'm planning to write an article and blog on air conditioning soon!

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