Brian Nagle October 30, 2017   2:20pm

 

Reasons to Get Your HVAC Ready for Winter

As winter moves in and temperatures are falling, pay attention to your utility usage due to higher heating use.  However, you can minimize the change. Performing maintenance on your system before winter, you will be in a better position to not only cut your electricity usage, but also to extend the overall life of the HVAC system.  If you are a homeowner it can be intimidating to take on the responsibility, but there are a few tips that can bring you up to speed on how to properly prepare your HVAC system for winter.

Examine the HVAC Unit HVAC systems last for about 20 years before they require replacement. However, it is advisable to examine the HVAC unit regularly to see if it’s functioning properly and to do routine maintenance like cleaning.  If you don’t want to go through this process yourself, you can contact a professional to check it out and to perform the proper maintenance.  Even though maintaining the HVAC system may require a small investment, it will save you a lot of money in the long run, as well as make your house safer and warmer. Therefore, be sure to check your HVAC system before winter even starts.

Filters, Filters,Filters Sometimes, inefficiency of the HVAC system is brought about by old filters that are clogged with dust and allergens, causing a strain on your system. This could lead to more costly repairs in the future. To avoid this problem, check the filters regularly and make it a habit to change the filter on a monthly basis. Remember, just because you can’t see the trapped dust floating around in your air does not mean it doesn’t exist. Alternatively, you can buy a reusable filter. These filters can be rinsed, cleaned, and be reused like new ones, but they cost less in the long run. One downside of typical reusable filters is the amount of filtration. Disposable filters come in many different filtration levels.

Test the Thermostat Test the thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. On one cool or hot morning, turn on the heat and AC respectively and set the thermostat to your preferred comfortable temperature. If the HVAC does not reach that temperature or takes too long to reach it, causing unnecessary electricity usage, you might be facing a mechanical problem. Have it checked as soon as possible. You can consider installing a programmable thermostat to replace the older one as it allows you to preset your desired temperature for different times of the day, allowing the HVAC system to work less when you are away.

 

Clean the Air Vents To ensure proper flow of air during the winter, make sure that there is nothing blocking the supply of fresh air. Items such as bedding, toys, furniture, and so on may obstruct intake of air; therefore, they should be kept far away from your HVAC system.  Also clean the vents to make sure the air is free to move through them properly. To take it a step further, you may even want to have the ductwork cleaned to allow your air more freedom to move. Duct cleaning companies today have cameras where they can identify air leakage. The tighter the ducts, the more efficient the system, and of course, utilizes less energy and less money you spend.

Aging System If your system is aging, consider changing to a new modern and efficient inverter system. They use about 1/3 the electric, offer both cooling and heating and even installed, are only about 25% more than a standard energy star air conditioning system. Be sure to contact a reputable company who has experience with this level of efficiency. The utility savings will cover the cost difference in less than 2 years.   

These are some of the tips you may use to prepare your HVAC system for winter.  You may not have the knowledge of a certified technician, but you can take part in making sure your heating and cooling system lasts for a long time by making sure everything is in good shape for the winter.

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