With the monsoons bringing more rain later in the season, the temperatures have taken a plunge. Before this gets serious, take time to clean your house heater, before you actually need it!
Homes in the mountains can have many different heating systems. Natural Gas or Propane forced air heat, a simple wall heater between 2 walls; even wood fireplaces, inserts and stoves are not unusual. The degree of difficulty in maintenance is still fairly routine and can be done in a short amount of time.
If you have a simple wall heater/passive air system, you may be done the fastest! Using the hose/brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner, run over the outside of the unit and ALL the vanes and vents. Open the access panel at the bottom and, if equipped, turn off the pilot light! If not, make sure the thermostat is turned all the way down. Get that vacuum hose into every place you can reach.
Here’s a messy, but good tip you can use with a shop vac. Put the hose into the output hole. Put the crevice cleaner on the end. Cover your nose and BLOW all the dust out of the heater unit. This will make a rather nasty dust cloud, but you’ll release stuff that has been gathering since before you moved in!
There actually is a bit of maintenance you can do on your heater that goes beyond dusting. If you have a forced air system, now is the time to replace the air filter. Be sure to vacuum all around the intake area before installing a clean filter.
If you heat with wood, now is the time to clean out the ashes and make sure your chimney flue is open and clear. If the flue hasn’t been maintained, it would be wise to call in a professional Chimney Sweep and have your whole system checked. Inspect the stove lining and make sure the bricks are not broken or missing. It is a dirty job, but replacing damaged fire bricks will help keep your stove efficient.
Take this time, before the weather changes, and ensure your winter will be warm and cozy!