Winter is Here, No Need to Fear: Prepping your HVAC System for Winter
Winter is finally upon us, and we have even seen the first snow flurries of the season! Luckily, this storm wasn’t a big one, meaning that you still have plenty of time to begin prepping your HVAC System for winter. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry that’s where we come in.
In order to prolong the life of any machine you have to make sure it has proper maintenance, and your HVAC system is no different. Which is why our team at Express Tech Air has come up with some tips to help you prepare for the upcoming cold.
Regular Maintenance Appointments for your HVAC System
The best time to have your HVAC system inspected is during what we call our “shoulder seasons,” otherwise known as spring and fall. We recommend doing it during this time because it is when your AC system and furnace are used the least. If you didn’t schedule an inspection during the fall, don’t worry because it isn’t too late our team of experts still inspect your system during the thick of winter! However, being preemptive in your inspections can ensure that your system is running properly before you need it the most.
Before one of our inspectors arrive you can check for unusual odors, abnormal noises or any other oddities that may be a visual and tell-tale sign of potential system issues.
DON'T Bring the Heat
A great way to start prepping your HVAC system for winter is by turning down the heat when you don’t need it. This will help you save money but also limit the use of your HVAC System meaning that there is a smaller chance of damage to the system.
In order to save the most, Energy Saver recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and to lower the temperature about 10 degrees in the evening or during the day when you are away. At night you don’t need as much heat because you are snuggled under your blanket, and during the day there is no sense in heating an empty house! Most thermostats have the ability to set a cooling and heating schedule. Utilizing this feature will help you not only save money but also help you make sure your system is running correctly.
Another way to start prepping your HVAC system for winter is by creating climate zones. This process helps to avoid having one level of your house hot, while another level remains cold. As you may know, heat rises and cold air settles in on the ground level of your home so, if you live in a multi-story home you may have noticed that when you walk upstairs it is much warmer than it was down stairs during the winter season. And having climate zones is a way to combat this issue.
Turn Your Furnace on Before you Actually Need it
When it comes to prepping your HVAC system for winter, we have learned that the best offense is often a good defense. Because of this we suggest turning on your furnace at least three times during the early fall before the freezing temperatures are upon you. This will help you make sure that everything with your system is running correctly and that it is ready to go when the winter cold creeps in.
The best way to do this is by setting your thermostat to the typical temperature you keep it at during the winter months. You should then let the system reach that temperature before switching it back off. Allowing your system to run before reaching the depths of the winter season will help in preventing any issues after you turn your furnace on for good.
Change your Air Filters and Clean your Air Vents
A common issue that we see at the beginning of the cold season is an accumulation of dirt and dust inside of your HVAC’s filtering system. This is a main factor in a lot of HVAC system issues so it is important to check your HVAC filter every month, or at the very least every 90 days to avoid any issues.
It is also a great idea to keep backup filters on hand to switch out because when your filter is dirty, it is also ineffective. Another important factor to check when prepping your HVAC System for winter is your air vents. Checking and cleaning the vents around your home is just as important as swapping out dirty filters. If your vents have a buildup of dust and dirt ventilation blockages and inefficient airflow will be soon to follow. Having these filters on hand is a great way to begin prepping your HVAC system for winter.
In some cases completely winterizing your outdoor AC unit before the snow and ice arrive is extremely important. With Virginia’s uncertain weather patterns this step is one that we always recommend and you can start by getting outside and removing all of the leaves, branches, and grass clippings from your outdoor unit. After that, you can take your hose and rinse the machine to remove animal droppings, dust, bugs, and dirt.
Once your unit is completely dry you can then locate the electrical circuit and flip the switch to turn off its power supply. In doing this you are working to prevent the system to turn on automatically and begin cooling your home accidentally during a warmer winter day.
The final step in winterizing your outdoor AC unit is to cover it with a breathable waterproof cover to prevent the build up of moisture in your system during the colder months. It is also important to make sure you are clearing snow, ice, and other debris as the season progresses.
Winter and your HVAC System
While these steps won’t prevent your system from ever breaking, they will help decrease the chances of issues popping up when you least expect it. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system paired with annual system inspections will help you tackle the cold in an easy and efficient way and our team at Express Tech Air is ready to help.
If you are experiencing heating issues prepping your HVAC system for winter get in touch with us, our team of experts will help you located and fix the problem before the cold from outside has a chance to creep into your home.