With every change in season, regular HVAC maintenance becomes mandatory, as the functionality of the system depends on how well it’s cared for. Since you rely on your home’s HVAC system to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, ensuring it stays in top functioning shape should be a priority all year round, more so when outside temperatures become uncomfortable.
Let’s take a look at some basic residential HVAC maintenance tips and other tricks that will help keep your home warm and cozy during the winter months.
Simple Pointers to Keep in Mind for Making Your Home Winter-Ready
When it comes to getting ready for winter, most people tend to focus on revamping our wardrobes with warm clothes, and typically rely on HVAC systems to keep the home cozy and comfortable. At most, you might put some rugs on the floor and thick blankets on the beds, but there’s a lot more to getting your home ready.
Here are some of the easiest ways to help get your home winter-ready before the temperature drops too far.
1. Ensure the System is Functioning Correctly
Overworked HVAC systems, dirty filters or coils, malfunctioning motors, overheating and leaks, etc. are a few of the problems a residential heating unit may face. When any of these occur, the system is asking for repair, but proper maintenance can keep issues in check. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or turn to an HVAC service company for assistance.
2. Invest in A Humidifier for Your Home
Winter air can be dry enough as is, but when you have a furnace or heating system running all day, the dryness in your home can get very uncomfortable. Using a humidifier to replace lost moisture in your home can help ensure that you and your family breathe easy, while remaining comfortable and cozy all winter long.
3. Clean & Change HVAC Filters Regularly
No matter the unit in use, all HVAC filters need to be cleaned and/or changed every now and then, especially before a heavy-use season really hits. Dirty filters can reduce the heating unit’s efficiency, block the flow of air through your home and lead to other issues within the system, which may need more repairs as a result.
4.Check Your Home’s Insulation & Weather Stripping
To prevent heat loss from your home during the winter months, ensure that doors, windows, walls and roofs are well insulated. Also, check the weather stripping around doors and windows, and replace any torn, ripped, frayed or loose stripping as soon as possible. Add extra insulation if you think your home needs it.
5. Consider Upgrading Your Thermostat
To ensure your HVAC functions efficiently and to reduce energy wastage, check your thermostat. If it’s working well, your heating system can maintain a comfortable temperature. You could also look into newer thermostats that can be programmed to turn the unit off when you aren’t home and turn it back on before you return.
6. Check Ducts for Any Blockages
If the ducts for air distribution are blocked or dirty, even the most powerful residential heating unit or furnace will be unable to keep your home warm. Clean the ducts regularly and remove any obstructions or blockages that may be coming in the way of efficient airflow. Also, make sure to check for holes or loose areas where air may leak.
7. Check Outdoor Units for Accumulated Snow
If debris, like leaves, twigs, snow or ice, accumulates around equipment, their functioning will be affected. When you’re clearing ice or snow off them, don’t chip at them with sharp objects that can cause damage. Keep the space around outdoor units clear, and remove window air conditioners or seal off their openings so the cold cannot seep in.
8. Keep an Eye Out for Common Complaints
Understand some of the common problems that people face with their boilers, furnaces and heat pumps, as well as the signs that point to them. This will help you ensure that you can nip any issues in the bud, and get them fixed before they cause more damage to your HVAC unit.
9. Use Your Eyes, Ears & Common Sense
Look out for unusual sounds, odors or sights that may signal something is wrong with your furnace. These should never be ignored, since they could signify a deeper problem, which should be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. Preventative maintenance is always best, so think of any strange occurrences as a cry for help!
10. Schedule Regular Professional Maintenance
No matter the HVAC unit you use or the problem you face with it, air conditioning and furnace repair experts can practically work magic for your HVAC’s efficiency. While you may perform basic maintenance on your own, professionals should be called on for assistance every now and then, especially during a change in season.
With a few simple steps, proper maintenance or service and some regular care, your HVAC will continue to serve you and your loved ones, keeping your home toasty warm even when the weather is freezing outdoors. Don’t waste any time. Make sure you’ve got your home ready to face the long winter days ahead!