As the weather gets chillier, your thoughts are probably turning towards staying cozy. But even as you bundle up in your favorite winter blanket with a cup of hot cocoa, you should always keep your HVAC system in mind. After all, you want it to run efficiently and reliably regardless of the season. Here are a few great tips you can use to keep your HVAC system in great shape this winter.
Please Do Touch That Dial
According to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air Solutions in Huntsville Al, the first thing you should do this winter is adjust your thermostat settings to maximize your HVAC system’s efficiency. This is easy to do if you have a programmable thermostat. If you don’t, make that one of your holiday gifts for your home this season.
Replace Your Filters Regularly
Air filters are a commonly neglected item when it comes to wintertime HVAC maintenance. Many people simply forget to change theirs, resulting in an HVAC system that can barely breathe through a clogged, dirty filter. Clogged filters are also packed with allergens that could trigger allergies and asthma in many people.
A clean air filter can make an amazing difference in your HVAC system’s performance, so plan on changing it this winter. Ideally, you’ll want to change your air filter at the end of each season or once a month if you have pets or a family member with severe allergies.
Check the Insulation
See that stuff wrapped around the lines coming from your HVAC unit? That insulation is crucial for keeping your unit running efficiently. Rotten or damaged insulation can let cold air through, resulting in energy loss and extra work needed to heat your home efficiently.
Look Out for Ductwork Issues
Leaky ductwork means less heat for your home and more work for your HVAC system. Pinhole leaks, tears and improperly sealed junctions can throw away valuable heat, preventing that warm air from reaching the rooms you want to keep warm. Keep a sharp eye out for leaks and have a professional seal them as soon as possible.
Consider Covering Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
The outdoor portion of your HVAC system is a robust unit, but it’s still vulnerable to the leaves, twigs and other debris that manage to get inside, especially when it’s not being used. If you have a gas or electric furnace, then chances are you’re giving your air conditioner a break for the season. This is a good time to cover up the outdoor unit.
Covering up your HVAC unit can be as simple as placing a sheet of plywood over the condenser fan outlet. Mesh covers let you cover the entire unit without the risk of trapping moisture inside. Avoid plastic tarps and thick covers, as these can trap rust-causing moisture and encourage animals to nest inside the unit. You should also avoid covering your outdoor unit if you own a heat pump.
Trim Back Plants and Foliage
Your HVAC needs room to breathe, so give it some space by pruning and trimming back any foliage that’s growing nearby. You’ll want to keep at least 2 to 3 feet between your HVAC system and whatever plants or shrubbery you have growing nearby. The same general rule goes for more concrete obstructions like wooden fences.