It seems like we go from one season to the other without pause. Waking up this morning to the first frost gave way to finally turning on the heat. A few moments after firing up the furnace for the first time this fall, I got to enjoy that fresh roasted dust bunny smell. You know the one I’m talking about? A cross between dust, pet hair and heat. Not a burn, so much, but a heating up. Yeah that one!
To prevent this roasted dust bunny smell, it’s a good thing to break out the vacuum and clean the radiators, heat vents and returns prior to turning on the heat. Combined Energy Services offers yearly services contracts for Propane, Fuel Oil and Kerosene heat. We don’t vacuum the radiators or vents, but we make sure that your furnace is in tip top shape.
If you have radiators with thin metal fins, you want to use a vacuum attachment with soft bristles. Why? As coolant passes through the radiator’s pipes on its way through the heating loop, it transfers much of its heat to the pipe that, in turn, transfers the heat to the fins that surround the pipe. It is the fins that release the heat into the ambient air. Crushing the fins together disrupts the fin’s ability to transfer heat making the system inefficient. So, take your time vacuuming them.
Cleaning the vent and return covers or grilles isn’t difficult either. Depending how dirty they are, you may be able to just vacuum them off with a bristled vacuum attachment. If they are really dusty or grimy, you may want to take them off and wash them. Are your heating system returns in the ceiling or difficult to reach? You might want to consider getting a telescoping brush for cleaning.
With forced air heat, don’t forget about your filter. Having a clean filter not only improves air quality but also the efficiency of your furnace…up to 15%! Please note that changing your forced air furnace filter is a pretty simple fix, but if you are uncomfortable at all with the process, please call in a professional.
There is much discussion about how often you need to change your forced air furnace filter. If it hasn’t been changed in months, there’s no better time than the present! Typically, it should be changed every 3 months at most. The number of people and pets in the home along with the type of filter may dictate a more frequent replacement cycle.
So, with a little fall cleaning, you can get rid of the roast dust bunny smell, improve air quality and help your furnace run efficiently. You can view more safety tips on our website.