As the temperatures drop every year, we all begin to shiver just a tad, to grumble and curse the colder weather, and to reach for our winter woolies and jackets. We also begin to reach for the heaters that we were using so merrily last year to keep us toasty and warm. Heating truly is a wonderful thing, but do many of us ever think to check our heaters and to maintain them? Sure, there are some people who do - but many of us don’t and by not doing so, we are all running a risk every time we plug them in. It’s a vital part of careful heater ownership to look after our heaters and to maintain them, so let’s take a look at some of the ways in which we can ensure that we have long-lasting and well-maintained heaters - both indoor and outdoor heaters - for years to come.
Check the air-intake (if you have one)
Some heaters are made with an air intake which pulls in room-temperature air and heats it with a coil, delivering warmed and toasty air into the space in front of it. In order for these kinds of heaters to work effectively, the air intake needs to be clear and able to pull in air easily. If the air intake is not clear, the heater can sometimes be forced to work harder than it needs to in order to get the air through, which then can cause the motor to burn out unnecessarily and prematurely. Make sure that you check all of your heaters every year - and during the period of time when you’re using them - in order to keep the air flowing freely into the unit.
Check your cables
If you have heaters that don’t run on the mains power, then you’ll need to plug them into the wall at some point. You need to make sure that the plugs you’re using have been stored well and that there’s no fraying or issues with the cords. You can get an electrician out to have a look at the heaters that you have in your home and they can also check the plugs at the same time. They’ll be happy to test the appliance and it’s usually a pretty reasonable fee for this sort of thing.
Test and check
All of your appliances are subject to wear and tear, and it’s important that you check out the voltage that’s flowing through your items to make sure that they’re not going to surge or short out. While the electrician is out checking your appliances, why not get them to check the voltages of your items as well? It’s a small investment for a larger gain - especially if it’s potentially the lives of your family at risk from power problems!
Keep them clean
If you have heaters that are outdoors, you need to make sure that you’re cleaning and maintaining them so that they’re not damaged by weather and by the elements. It’s up to you how well you take care of your things, so get out there every autumn when it’s getting cold and give your heaters a good clean. This will clear up insects or birds/bugs that have been nesting in your heaters during the warmer months and will mean a better functioning unit come winter time.
I hope this short list of some heater maintenance tips has proven useful for you and that you get a lot more use (and safe functionality) out of your heating appliances. Remember to keep them clean, get them checked and to always use them safely and you’ll have a warm home for years to come.