4 Steps to Help Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

Published 10/3/2014

It's almost that time of year again. Soon, the temperatures will start to drop into single digits, snow will begin to fall, and your HVAC unit will be humming along, keeping you and your home warm for months.

So in preparation, we thought we'd offer up several ways of keeping your HVAC unit running all winter long, smoothly and efficiently. Here is your four step process to HVAC system efficiency.

Perform a System Examination

Even if your HVAC unit is brand new, you should perform an examination at least once a year. It's best to do this before it gets too cold, and you could possibly be without heat. So before the mercury drops too far, power your unit on and make sure that you have heat flow. If you don't, contact a professional who can service the unit. The earlier your perform this check, the better.

Change the Filter

For optimum efficiency, it's best to change your filter several times a year, and depending on what type of filter you use, maybe even more. It is also advisable for you to change your filter more often if you own pets, or if you have a large family. Set up bi-monthly reminders to keep yourself on track.

Replace Outdated Thermostats

For the best results during winter, and greater savings on your heating bill, look into swapping out old thermostats that rely on mercury for modern models. These older style units are less accurate than newer, digital thermostats and can cause your HVAC unit to run unnecessarily. Plus, digital thermostats can be programmed so that you can set it to run only when you want.

Inspect and Clean Ducts

Heating ducts should be cleaned annually to remove debris and allow for proper heat flow. The same is true for return air. It is also important to inspect them for damage. Cracked, punctured, or dented ducts can raise your heating bill by allowing warm to escape. The cleaner the ducts are, the better efficiency your HVAC unit will run at, passing the warmth (and the savings) on to you.

A properly functioned HVAC unit is necessary to keep your home warm in winter. If you feel that performing any of these steps is something you can not accomplish, it's best to contact a professional who can help.

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