Winter is right around the corner, and you know what that means - colder weather! And while we mostly think about protecting our bodies from the winter cold, did you know that it’s also important to think about your home and how to prepare your HVAC for the winter season?
Implementing a regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance plan is important to keep your HVAC system working properly, especially through seasonal changes. Having an HVAC maintenance checklist is vital for ensuring the proper function of your system as well as preventing emergency repairs that can cost you a lot of your hard earned money.
Of course, if you’re ever having major issues with your HVAC unit, be sure to call the pros at Atlantic Heating & Cooling to come take a look. More times than not, when homeowners who aren’t properly trained in HVAC maintenance try to perform major tasks, it ends up causing more problems. But there are many simple home HVAC maintenance tricks that can be performed without a technician. Here’s how to prepare your HVAC for winter:
One home HVAC maintenance tip to help you prepare for winter is to replace the air filter. This is actually something that is recommended to do regularly throughout the year. We suggest that you check your air filter once every 30 days to check for dirt, dust, and other debris. While some people, such as pet owners, may have to replace their air filters more often, we recommend that you wait no longer than 90 days. It’s also a good suggestion to change your air filter when the seasons change. Regularly checking and replacing your air filter will help keep your HVAC unit working efficiently.
When you replace your air filters, it’s also a good idea to clean your air ducts. As part of your HVAC winter maintenance, you’ll want to be sure to check your vents and clean your air ducts to help prepare your home for winter. While it may not be easy to clean the air ducts yourself, you can always pick up the phone and give Atlantic Heating & Cooling a call so our professionals can help you rid your ducts of dust, mold, allergens, and more. This is a great winter tip as your heating may react with contaminants which, in turn, can cause discomfort to the people in your home as well as cause your HVAC system to work inefficiently.
In addition to cleaning your vents, you may also consider looking around your home to see if any furniture or items are blocking your vents. Blocking vents will cause restricted air flow which will not only stop you from getting as much heat as you want, but it may also cause issues with your HVAC unit due to added stress.
In places like South Carolina where we experience high temperatures in the summer months, it’s important to check the belt that powers the blower inside of your HVAC system. When performing HVAC winter maintenance, you’ll want to keep an eye out for cracks or other signs of damage on the belt that could have occurred in extreme heat.
Another one of our HVAC maintenance tips for how to prepare your home for winter is to take the time to test your furnace. Before winter is in full-swing, you’ll want to turn your furnace on at least three times to make sure that it is working before it gets too cold outside. While we tend to have pretty mild winters here in the Myrtle Beach area, we definitely get some cold nights and even snow once every blue moon. There’s nothing worse than going to turn on your heat during a bone-chilling day only to find out that your HVAC unit isn’t functioning.
We’ve all heard the old saying “hot air rises and cool air falls,” and there’s truth to this common statement. If you live in a home with more than one story, you’ve probably run into the issue of the top floor becoming hotter than the bottom floor. As part of your HVAC winter maintenance, try creating climate zones by choosing a few vents to close on the top floor. This will allow your system to force more air downstairs, thus creating a more evenly heated atmosphere. There are also many modern smart systems on the market that have sensors and can tell what part of your home needs heated or cooled air the most.
Snow and extreme winter weather may be quite uncommon along the Grand Strand, but one of our HVAC tips for winter is to clean and cover your outdoor unit. Before winter begins, take some time to clean out any dirt, debris, twigs, leaves, etc. from your outdoor HVAC unit. You may also clean the unit with a hose and allow it to dry before covering it with a weatherproof cover. Always be sure that some air can get in under the cover so moisture doesn’t build up. If it snows or if there are icy conditions, be certain to remove snow or ice from the outdoor HVAC unit.
If you have a programmable thermostat in your home, then you have access to an awesome tool to use for your HVAC winter maintenance. Instead of running your heat all day long, think about creating a schedule for when you’d like to warm up your home. If you get hot at night, consider programming your thermostat to raise the temperature right before you wake up each morning. Of, if you’re going to be out or at the office for most of the day, consider programming your heat to turn off when you leave and to kick on when you’re on your way home. This will help save you energy and money on your electric bill throughout the winter season.
While these HVAC tips for winter should help you through a season of cold weather, you should also be sure to schedule regular HVAC maintenance at least once a year.
If you run into any issues during your home HVAC maintenance, or if you’d like to schedule your yearly visit from an HVAC technician, be sure to call Atlantic Heating & Cooling and we’ll be happy to help!