Preparing Your HVAC for Winter
Winter is just around the corner. This time of year encourages a lot of home preparation for family and friends for the holidays. That includes decorating or making necessary repairs. What is often neglected is the maintenance of the HVAC system that plays a critical role in making your home comfortable for you and your guests. HVAC units are complex by design, but there are steps you can take to ensure the health of your system all winter long.
Change Your Furnace Filters
The easiest maintenance task to complete to ensure your unit is working correctly is changing your filter. A clogged filter will prevent hot air from moving properly throughout the home. If this is happening, your HVAC unit will utilize more energy to keep your house comfortable. The extra legwork will put stress on the machine as well as increase your energy bill. Swap out your filter and avoid the option of spending money on expensive repairs.
Clean Out the Air Ducts
The efficiency of your HVAC isn’t solely placed on the machine itself. There are a lot of working parts that help circulate air throughout the home. Step one is swapping out the filer, and step two would be to clean the air ducts. Airflow moves through the vents, so it’s understandable why you would think that it’s not something you need to worry about. But, an accumulation of dust and debris can reduce air flow. A clogged air duct is just another opportunity to ask your HVAC system to work overtime.
We can’t stress enough the importance of removing blockages that would make heating your home challenging. We’ve talked before about common HVAC myths, and one of them refers to the blocking of an air vent to save on energy. In theory, it’s a great idea, but the fan will push the same amount of air throughout the house no matter how many vents you seal. If you want to prepare your home and your HVAC to work well throughout the winter, remove any blockages to ensure your machine doesn’t have to work hard.
Check Your Thermostat
Old thermostats rely on mercury which can be inaccurate. Ideally, you’ll have a newer system that is battery operated. Your unit will require less output if the thermostat is one point. So, if you have a battery operated thermostat check to see if they need replacing. Digital thermostats can be programmed, and if you have one available in your home, you can keep it set to click on and off whenever you need.
Purchase a Cover for Your HVAC
The HVAC unit sits somewhere outside the home which makes it susceptible to weather elements and debris. The last thing you want is to have freezing temperatures reduce the power, speed, or capacity. There are HVAC covers you can purchase that will keep out leaves and twigs that can clog as the season changes. It will also help eliminate ice and snow from settling in and freezing up the machine.
The heating supply is more than just a single unit. It’s a complex network of wiring, vents, and ducts. If you want it to work properly, the best thing you can do is ensure that you have proper insulation. The places we would check are the attic and any crawl spaces. They are wide open and will be one of the first places to leak air. Next, you’ll want to look at the integrity of your windows and door. If you have any questions, you can hire a professional to inspect for air leaks and replace any windows or add more insulation to necessary rooms.
Prepare Your Heat Pump
Some homes still rely on heat pumps for heat. If you have a heat pump, the first thing you will want to do is remove any obstructions. Some manufacturers have recommended covers, and if you can get your hands on one, it will help protect it from ice and snow. Professional note, if your heat pump does get ice don’t chip away at it but rather pour hot water to melt the ice. It’s less damaging.
Your HVAC unit provides your home with a lot of warmth and comfort throughout the winter. Inspection before the ice and snow kicks in will prime it for optimum performance. There are a few things you can do yourself, but it’s always best to leave HVAC inspections to the professionals. There are a lot of benefits from hiring one. With their expertise, they can find and fix leaks, check the wiring, identify damages, and address clogs. They are also skilled in finding fissures or punctures that could result in carbon monoxide leaks. One call to your Nashville HVAC inspector could save you hundreds of dollars this winter.
For more information about inspections or to talk to a professional, contact us today by visiting our website.