Now that the temperatures are dropping and winter is quickly approaching, along with winterizing your plumbing system, it is time to make certain that your HVAC system is ready for the seasonal changes too.
By now, you likely know the basics – changing your filter or filters on a regular basis, ensuring the unit is free from debris, being able to identify unusual sounds and even ways to save energy in winter. The question is, though, do you know how to properly prepare your HVAC system for winter? Continue reading to learn important information regarding proper prepping.
Why Should I Prepare My HVAC System for Winter?
There are numerous benefits associated with preparing your HVAC system for the winter months. If you engage in the proper maintenance and upkeep, your system’s lifespan will increase greatly. The performance of the system will be completely optimized. You will find that you save money from the lower energy costs and your home will remain comfortable all season long.
The following outlines the steps that you should take in order to ensure that your HVAC system is 100% prepared to handle the task of keeping your home warm this winter:
- Replace the Air Filter – The air filter in your HVAC system collects a lot of dirt, dust, and debris. It is imperative that you change it regularly. In some instances, changing the air filter once every three months is considered to be ideal. In other cases, you may have to change your filter once a month. Simply inspect your unit’s filter on a regular basis. If it looks a little on the dirty side, it is time to change it. Once changed, the clean filter will aid in improving the efficiency of the system and will improve the air quality throughout your home.
- Inspect and Prepare Vents – To ensure that your HVAC system is running optimally, you should inspect all of the vents throughout your home. They should be completely cleaned and not obstructed by any furniture, curtains, or items that have the potential to negatively impact the flow of air. To clean, unscrew the vents and place them in warm water that includes soap for about 10 minutes. While soaking, vacuum out the inside of the vent area. Scrub down the vents after they soak, completely dry them, and screw them back in.
- Clean the Unit – The next step to preparing your HVAC system for the winter months is to completely clean the entire unit. This means removing leaf pile-ups, weeds from around the base, and any other type of debris. You should then clean the system with a hose and damp cloth. Do not pressure wash the system as the forceful spray could damage the internal components of the unit.
- Thermostat Adjustment – The thermostat is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. You should upgrade to a thermostat that is programmable and energy efficient. Always make sure it is set to “Heat” in the colder months. If this part does not seem to be working properly, you should have it inspected by a HVAC technician to determine the underlying problem. Being that this is an electrical component, you will want to avoid troubleshooting yourself unless you are experienced in electrical work.
- Check for Leaks – Many do not realize it, but a HVAC system is fully capable of leaking. Different types of units may leak in different ways. For example, if you have a boiler, it could leak water. If you have a furnace, the fuel line may leak and release dangerous toxins in the air. If you have a heat pump, the unit may leak refrigerant. Anytime you notice any leakage from your HVAC system, turn off the power to the unit immediately and contact a HVAC professional right away.
- Check for Error Codes – All major and newer HVAC systems include codes that will display in the event of a problem. This includes furnaces, boilers, and even heat pumps. Look at the display screen of your unit to see if it is displaying an error code. If so, address the issue immediately. If not, you may skip this step.
- The Sound Test – Once all of the above listed steps are taken, it is time to conduct a sound test. With this test, you are listening for unusual noises. It does not matter what type of unit that you have or how new it is, if you hear whining, grinding, buzzing, vibrations, whistling, clanging, banging, or other sounds coming from your HVAC system, there is a problem. Immediately shut down the power to the system and contact a professional. The performance of the system is being negatively impacted if there are unusual sounds coming from it. It could be something as simple as a buildup of limescale to something as serious as a damaged motor. You should not take any chances if your system fails the sound test.
- Room Warmth Test – The next step that should be taken is the room warmth test. This is relatively simple. Turn the heat on and up. Allow a few minutes to pass. Then, simply walk through each room in your home to determine if it is heating up. If you notice an issue with the whole house, there is likely a problem with the HVAC unit. If there is an issue with just one room, it could be a matter of lack of insulation, a busted duct, or a closed vent. Simply have an inspection done to determine the issue and resolve it.
- Moisture Check – The next step that you should take when preparing your HVAC system for the winter months is to do a moisture check. When the unit is in operation, you should evaluate the windows and the vent pipe of the unit. If you notice moisture building up, rust, or even an accumulation of dirt, your system may need to be repaired as this could indicate that it is not operating properly.
- Schedule a Tune-Up – Finally, it is time for the final step – scheduling a tune-up for your HVAC system with a professional. The technician that does the tune-up will inspect the equipment, determine if there are any issues, and take the steps necessary to get the unit up and running. You should have maintenance performed at least once a year. Not only does this ensure optimal operation, but it also helps in ensuring that your warranty remains valid, reliable heat, and increased comfort for your home.
Contact Us Today
We here at Reynolds Plumbing and HVAC specialize in the inspections, maintenance, and repair of all types of HVAC units. We highly recommend that you contact us today to schedule an inspection and tune-up. Winter is right around the corner. The coldest days are yet to come. The last thing you want to do is wait until there is a problem to call us. By allowing us to schedule an inspection today, you can rest assured that your HVAC system will run optimally for all of the tomorrows of the winter season.
We are currently celebrating over 40 years of service in Richmond, Indiana and Wayne County. We provide both residential and commercial services. Your satisfaction is our guarantee. If you are looking for a friendly community HVAC technician with competitive prices and offers the best in customer service, look no further. We will work with you to ensure that the plumbing and HVAC systems of your home are running optimally at all times: 765-966-0994