Having an effective, efficient HVAC system is important for staying safe and comfortable this winter. Any issues with the system will not only cause inconvenience but also contribute to higher energy bills. Therefore, the best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that your HVAC system is operating at its best before the onset of winter. Here are some tips to help get your system ready for the season:
1. Change or Clean Your Air Filters
Clean air filters contribute to the HVAC’s efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter can restrict airflow, making your system work harder to maintain your desired temperature. During winter, when the system is under increased demand, this can lead to higher energy consumption and potential breakdowns. Check your air filters and replace them at least once every three months to help improve your HVAC’s performance and improve your indoor air quality.
2. Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Incorporating a programmable thermostat into your heating and cooling system is a wise decision, especially during the winter season. It allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day, ensuring you’re not heating an empty house when everyone is at work or asleep. Some modern thermostats are even compatible with smartphone apps, allowing you to control your HVAC system remotely. By utilizing a programmable thermostat, not only can you cut down on energy expenses but also come back to a comfortable and warm house.
3. Clean and Seal Air Ducts
The condition of your air ducts can significantly impact the efficiency of your HVAC system. If the ductwork that carries air throughout your home suffers damage or becomes clogged, your system will work harder to try to heat your home, but to no avail. There are multiple ways to improve your ductwork.
Seal any air leaks in your ductwork to prevent heat loss. Leaky ducts can hinder your system’s performance, causing it to be up to 20% less efficient.
Over time, dust, debris, and even pests can enter your air ducts. Consider professional duct cleaning to ensure your system operates at its best.
Properly insulate your ducts to prevent heat loss and maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home.
4. Check the Fuel Source
For homes with furnaces or boilers that use fuel sources like natural gas or oil, it’s essential to ensure a steady supply. Schedule a fuel delivery or check your fuel levels to make sure you won’t run out in the middle of a cold night. It’s also advisable to have a backup heating source, such as a space heater or a generator, in emergencies.
5. Proper Insulation
A well-insulated home not only keeps you warm during the winter but also eases the workload on your HVAC system. Consider the following insulation tips:
The attic is a primary source of heat loss. If your attic is adequately insulated, you may be able to reduce your heating costs by as much as 30 percent.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Inspect your house for any small openings or gaps near windows, doors, and other areas. Use weatherstripping and caulk to seal these areas to prevent drafts.
If you have a crawl space or basement, ensure proper insulation under the floors to keep the cold from seeping in.
6. Test Your System
Before the winter chill arrives, it’s a good idea to test your HVAC system to ensure it works properly. Turn on your heating system and give it time to warm up your home. Listen for any unusual sounds or smells and monitor the thermostat to ensure that it’s reaching your desired temperature. Should you encounter any problems, such as heat not being distributed evenly or unusual sounds, it is advisable to reach out to a professional technician promptly to address the issue before it escalates.
Getting your home’s HVAC system ready for winter is important. By following the mentioned tips, you can rest easy knowing that your HVAC system is ready to tackle the winter chill. The investment of time and effort in winter HVAC preparation is a small price to pay for a warm, cozy, and cost-effective winter season.
Contact Bernard Heating & Cooling today to have your system inspected, maintained, or repaired before temperatures drop any further.