How To Prep Your HVAC For Winter

We all know how important maintenance is to ensure that things keep on working the way they should. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a problem with the heating system while the first snowstorm is raging outside. If you are not 100% sure how to get your HVAC system ready for winter, don’t worry. Below we have a couple of very helpful tips to get you started. Just keep in mind that large furnace maintenance jobs should always be dealt with by a professional HVAC technician.

Visually inspect the furnace regularly.

 You should visually inspect the furnace at the start of the winter season, and also a few times during winter. Make sure there is nothing within a 3-ft radius of the furnace. You certainly shouldn’t have things draped over it or lying/standing close to it. The reason is that a furnace has to ‘breathe’. If there’s anything so close to it that it blocks the airflow, it might not work properly or, in a worst-case scenario, break down.

Turn on your furnace a few times before winter starts. Prevention, they say, is better than cure. To make sure your furnace works exactly as expected, fire it up a few times during the fall before the term ‘snow storm’ starts appearing regularly on the weather forecast. That will give you more than enough time to get any possible issues sorted out before the cold days arrive.

Replace the filter.

If your air conditioner has been working hard this summer, the time has come to check if the filter has to be replaced. Dirt that gets trapped in the HVAC system is one of the biggest reasons why it might fail. A filter that’s full of debris will obviously also be a lot less efficient. The filter has to be checked every two months and replaced at least every 3 months. This task will be easier if you always keep a few replacement filters at home.

Arrange a maintenance appointment before the start of winter. 

Your best option is to book a maintenance visit while you’re not using the furnace every day. This will ensure that it’s working properly when the first really cold days arrive.

Before the technician shows up for the appointment, start checking for strange noises, abnormal smells, and leaks in the ductwork. Any of these could be signs that something more serious is starting to go wrong.

Program your smart thermostat. 

With the really cold months approaching fast, it’s a great idea to check your thermostat settings. At night, while you are being kept warm by a comforter or two, it should be perfectly OK to set the thermostat to 56 or 58 degrees Fahrenheit. You can program it to increase the temperature to around 68 degrees around half an hour before you get up. The same system works quite well if you leave the home during the day.

Programmable thermostats often have many other features available. Some even allow you to control the HVAC system remotely from your computer or smartphone and to program more than one temperature schedule for different times of the day or week. Check the owner’s manual to learn more.

Create climate zones inside your home.

As you probably are well aware, cold air remains close to the ground and warm air rises. If you are fortunate enough to have a home with more than one floor, you have probably noticed that in winter it feels significantly warmer upstairs than downstairs. There is an old-school way to correct this disparity: create your own climate zones. Simply close a couple of vents on the upper floor. That will force the heating system to direct some of that hot air back downstairs.

Worried your HVAC system can’t handle the coming winter season? Have questions? Let Hoot help! Call or text today to schedule your consultation! 443-309-8420