How to Ready Your HVAC Unit For Winter

Say goodbye to the sweltering summer heat and slushies. Instead, it’s time to welcome back pumpkin spice lattes, crackling fireplaces, and winter coats. As you adapt to the changing seasons, your HVAC unit needs to get ready, too.

Otherwise, your HVAC unit won’t work as efficiently once colder temperatures set in. You might notice a rise in your annual heating and cooling costs. As your unit works twice as hard to function, it could experience wear and tear, too.

With proper annual maintenance, you could save as much as 30% on your energy bill. You’ll also reduce environmental emissions.

At the same time, you can keep your HVAC system running at its best year-round.

Prepare your HVAC system for the winter chill. Get ready for colder months with these seven simple tips today.

1. Replace the Filter

First, take a look at your HVAC system’s air filter. Make sure to replace your filter every three months.

Otherwise, your filter could become dirty and clogged. It’s difficult for the unit to push air through a clogged filter. The unit’s energy efficiency could drop, causing wear and tear.

You might risk damaging certain components of your HVAC unit as a result. These components could break down, leading to expensive repairs. Before that can happen, run through this HVAC maintenance checklist. 

First, make sure to replace the filter every three months. If you have pets, consider changing it more often. Otherwise, dander and fur could clog your filter sooner than anticipated.

Take a look at the filter you’re using, too. Consider using a high-efficiency pleated air filter this year.

These filters are designed to capture smaller particles. You can minimize air pollutants throughout your home, keeping the air clean. You won’t have to worry about allergies as much.

Meanwhile, replacing the filter on a schedule will help your unit run at its best. It won’t work double-time to push air through.

2. Dust the Furnace

As you prepare for winter’s cold months, don’t forget to check on your furnace.

It’s easy to forget to give your furnace attention, especially when summer’s warm months kick in. During that time, dust and debris can collect against the furnace. If you turn the furnace on and notice a musty smell, shut it off right away.

Make sure to clean the furnace before turning it on for the colder fall and winter months. Otherwise, the risk of fire could increase.

Cleaning the furnace regularly can help prevent clogs. You can improve the airflow and your HVAC system’s energy efficiency as a result. 

If you’re not sure how to clean the furnace properly, consider contacting your local heating and cooling company. An experienced HVAC company can prepare the entire HVAC system for winter. Their experience and expertise will ensure you don’t forget anything on your maintenance checklist.

3. Clean the Unit and Ducts

You might want to call your local HVAC company about cleaning your HVAC unit and air ducts, too.

Take a look at your unit. If it’s located outside, grass blades and debris can collect against the unit. Debris could clog your HVAC system as a result.

Before that can happen, take the time to clear away grass, dirt, fallen leaves, and other forms of debris. If pollen is clinging to your unit, grab a water hose. Wash the pollen away before it can impact your energy efficiency. 

Take the time to clean your unit regularly to increase its energy efficiency and lifespan. 

You might want to clean the ducts and registers, too. First, wipe away visual signs of dust and debris. Call an HVAC service for additional help.

4. Look for Damage

As you start using these tips, make sure to look at the physical unit. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or dents. Check for electrical damage, too.

If you notice any signs of electrical damage, step away from the unit. Don’t try to handle it yourself. Instead, call a professional HVAC company right away.

They can fix the damage, allowing you to avoid potential injuries.

Make sure to check on the condensers, too. What are condensers and what do they do, exactly? You can find out here: https://www.schneidermechanical.com/what-does-a-condenser-do-the-ultimate-guide-to-condensers/.

Consider scheduling routine preventative maintenance with your local HVAC company. Preventative maintenance can push the lifespan of a unit over 15 years. You can fix small issues before they become major problems.

5. Listen Out

As you check on your HVAC system, keep an ear out. You might notice strange sounds as you prepare your unit for winter. For example, you might hear a hissing or clunking sound.

Each sound you hear can indicate a different problem. For example, it’s possible there’s a blockage or debris in the vents. It’s possible there’s a loose bolt, too.

If you notice a strange sound you can’t pinpoint, call your local HVAC service company. They’ll assess the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Otherwise, your unit might work at a portion of its usual efficiency, impacting your energy costs.

6. Turn the Humidifier Off

As fall starts to set in, make sure to turn the furnace humidifier’s water supply off. Give the system a few months to rest.

Make sure to replace the water panel before winter, too. Set the humidity between 35 and 45% in the meantime.

7. Call Your HVAC Company

As you check on your HVAC unit, you might notice issues you’re not sure how to fix. Don’t take the DIY approach. Trying to fix your unit alone could void the warranty.

Instead, call your local HVAC company.

Consider scheduling a preventative maintenance check during the spring and fall (before peak temperatures set in). Regular checks will ensure there aren’t any major problems.

After all, you don’t want the unit to break down in the dead of summer or winter.

Ward Off the Chill: 7 Tips to Prep Your HVAC Unit for Winter

Preparing your HVAC unit for winter can boost its energy efficiency. You can cut costs and keep your unit running at its best. A regular HVAC service can extend its lifespan, too.

Get ready for the chilly winter months with these HVAC service tips today. 

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