Winter is nearly here, and Old Man Winter has already started showing signs of his appearance. There is a lot of preparation that goes into this time of year for the home, and this includes decorating as well as making repairs. One thing that is often overlooked is HVAC system maintenance, despite the fact that the HVAC system is what keeps you, your family, and house guests comfortable. HVAC systems can be complex, but there are a few steps that you can take to prepare your system for the winter season.
Change Your Furnace Air Filters
One of the easiest furnace maintenance tasks that you can perform to help improve the efficiency of your furnace is to change the filter. When your filter gets clogged up, it will keep hot air from properly moving throughout your home. If this happens, your furnace will use more energy trying to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This extra work will put stress on the unit in addition to increasing the energy bill. So, change your filter to avoid spending unnecessary money on costly repairs.
Clean Out the Ducts
The efficiency of your heating and air system is not just placed on the system itself. There are many individual working parts that work to ensure that air is circulated throughout the house. First, you must make sure to switch out the filter regularly, and second, you need to clean the air ducts. Air moves through the vents, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t think it is not something you’d need to be concerned with. However, when dust and debris accumulates, it can cause a reduction in air flow. When the air ducts get clogged, it creates another chance for your HVAC unit to work harder than necessary.
Unblock the Vents
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to ensure that all vents are unblocked because blockages make it harder for your system to heat the home properly. Many homeowners are under the impression that blocking off an air vent can help to save money on energy bills; however, the fan will continue to push the same amount of air throughout the home regardless of the number of vents that you seal off. So, to ensure that you home is prepared for the winter and continues to perform at maximum efficiency, take the time to remove blockages.
Check the Thermostat
If you have an old thermostat in your home, then it is relying on mercy, which is known to be inaccurate. Newer systems are battery-operated and are more accurate. If you have a newer, battery-operated system, check the batteries in the thermostat to see if they need to be replaced. If you have a digital thermostat that can be programmed, consider keeping it set so that it can come on and go off whenever needed.
Purchase an HVAC Protective Cover
The heating and air unit sits outside of the home, making it vulnerable to debris and the elements. You don’t want to run the risk of reduced speed, power, or capacity as a result of freezing temperatures. Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing a cover for your unit to help keep the debris away from the unit that can clog it up during season changes. The cover can also help keep snow and ice from creeping in and causing the machine from freezing up.
Improve the Insulation
Your heating system is more than just the unit itself as it also involves a network of ducting, vents, and wiring. In order for it to work properly, you need to make certain that your home has adequate insulation. The two most important places that must be check for adequate insulation are crawl spaces and the attic. These spaces are open and are most likely to leak air. You also want to check around doors and windows. If you have any concerns, contact a professional to check for leaks, replace necessary windows, and add insulation as necessary.
Prepare the Heat Pump
There are some homeowners that rely solely on heat pumps to heat their homes. If you are one of them, you need to take the time to remove obstructions. There are some manufacturers that will suggest covers, and these can assist in protecting the heat pump from snow and ice. If the heat pump does get ice on it, it is important that you do not chip at it; instead, you should pour hot water on it to melt away the ice. This process is far less damaging.
Get an HVAC Inspection
Your HVAC unit ensures that your home is warm and comfortable throughout the entire winter season. However, if you fail to get an HVAC inspection before the cold weather sets in, the system may be unable to operate at maximum performance. While it is true that there are some things you can do yourself, it is important that you allow a professional service come in to perform the inspection. They have the knowledge and expertise to locate and repair leaks, inspect the wiring, recognize damages, and address clogs. Professionals can also find punctures and fissures that could end up resulting in carbon monoxide leaks, which are very dangerous to your health.
For additional information, reach out to the professionals at Air Degree.