New Orleans is spared the brutally cold weather of up north. However, the Big Easy still gets damp and chilly during the winter, so before you crank up your heating system, take a look at what experts tell us not to do:

1. Subject Your Furnace or Heat Pump to DIY HVAC

Doing it yourself is great with many home projects, but it doesn’t work with heating systems. HVAC professionals must be certified and licensed. They receive ongoing, in-depth factory training. They must achieve high levels of mechanical mastery to properly and safely work with HVAC equipment. They must be qualified to work with refrigerant, electricity and natural gas. They must understand the high-tech tools used to perform HVAC operations. When you sum it up, DIY HVAC is like DIY rocket science: it’s just a bad idea.

2. Fiddle With the Thermostat

The best practice is to set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there. The furnace produces a consistent level of heat to attain the desired thermostat setting. Otherwise, it’s on standby until the temperature drops below that setting. Maintaining a consistent temperature is the best way to keep energy costs affordable. The only exception is to turn down the heat for eight hours while you sleep and for another eight hours while everyone is at school or work.

3. Block or Close the Vents

Many homeowners close the vents in rooms that aren’t being used. Closing the vents obstructs air flow, which can harm your heating system. Insufficient air flow can cause excessive moisture to accumulate in ductwork, and that moisture can foster the growth of mildew and mold.

Closing vents can cause ductwork leaks. It can also create heat exchanger cracks that lead to carbon monoxide leaks. There should be no air flow obstructions in your living space, either. Ensure that furniture and draperies are not blocking the vents.

Seruntine Refrigeration Services is a licensed HVAC contractor serving Greater New Orleans since 1964. Visit us online or call us at 504-833-8831 for emergency heating repair.

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