Updated: Feb 16
For homeowners not keen on becoming popsicles this winter, your HVAC system or space heater system needs to become your best friend, and you need to know how to prepare your HVAC system for the winter.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It is a system that provides heating and air conditioning to residential and commercial buildings. We can find these systems in single-family homes and anywhere that requires a means of environmental comfort. For heating your rooms, a heater can provide warmth more efficiently. The components of HVAC systems are interrelated in their functions and deliver a combination of high-quality indoor air and thermal comfort.
The benefits of having a fully functional HVAC system is easy to understand. In the past, heating and air conditioning systems were often some of the most complicated and extensive systems in your home. That is no longer the case as we have extensive knowledge about HVAC systems, which makes them easy to maintain.
As winter approaches, you will want to ensure that your HVAC system is in optimal working condition. Below, we outline some ways you can prepare your system for the winter months.
Change Air Filters
A general rule for the HVAC system is that you replace its air filters monthly or at least every season. Your air filter serves two important purposes: keeping dust and debris out of your HVAC unit and filtering the air in your home. Replacing your air filter regularly (at least quarterly but preferably monthly) will help extend the life of your HVAC unit, and prevent it from becoming clogged, which can decrease the efficiency of your unit. Dirt and dust in the filtering system that has developed over time are some of the common causes of a system breakdown. Also, a dirty filter is an ineffective filter, so having a backup filter is essential.
Clean Your Vents
Dusting your vents before using your heater is recommended. It is important that your vents are cleaned regularly to reduce, dust, mould, and other allergens that continue to build up in them throughout the year. Ventilation blockages can be caused by the build-up of dirt in your home. This also causes inefficient airflow. Your ducts are the channels through which the heated or cooled air passes through.
Remove Nearby Objects
Boxes, furniture, storage containers and other flammable items should not be in close proximity to your heater before you turn it on. Ensure you remove any nearby object that could be of a fire hazard before using and keep you and your family safe. Nearby objects also obstruct the flow of air and put unnecessary pressure on your home heating system to have to heat your home without proper air-flow.
Cover Your Condenser
The part of your HVAC system that is on the outside is the condenser. It should be covered the winter months. We strongly suggest that every HVAC system owner has a cover as it helps to prevent ice from collecting inside your unit and will act against damages resulting from fallen tree branches, hail, debris and more.
Most homes have some version of a split system. It is the most common type of HVAC system used today. With the evaporator indoors and the condenser outdoors, covering the condenser ensures that it is protected from the harsh elements of winter.
Schedule a Maintenance Check
Gas furnaces release carbon monoxide and have natural gas that is used to produce heat. We highly recommend that homeowners do not interfere with these two elements. You most likely have a split-system HVAC system, but you should have your furnace and air distribution system inspected yearly by a professional to ensure it is burning safely and functioning efficiently. The spring and fall seasons are the best times to do your maintenance checks because your air conditioner and furnace are needed the least. When you schedule your system check-ups bi-annually with your technician; you can ensure that your system in good working condition before you need it most.
Test Your Thermostat
The thermostat is the basic control system that regulates the temperature of your home. When testing your thermostat, set it at the desired temperature and check to see if it works. Ensure it shows that your home is being heated up and you are receiving warm air. Your thermostat works hand in hand with your HVAC system. One cannot operate at its full potential if the other is not working efficiently. At the first sign of a problem, calling your air conditioning company can ensure that your problems are resolved quickly.
Not all heating and cooling system breakdowns are caused by a system failure. Sometimes, your thermostat may be to blame for the uncomfortable temperatures inside your home.
Check your thermostat while it is running, and check it at least three times before the winter season begins. If nothing is happening within 20 minutes, you should contact your local HVAC company to inspect and repair your system. If there is heated air, you should not have any issues. The worst thing to do is wait and find out that there is an issue in the winter.
Add Additional Insulation
Additional insulation helps in cooler times to provide more heat to the home. It also prevents heat from escaping your home and it adds to the energy-efficiency of your system. Besides your home’s insulation, you will need to also inspect the insulation around your ductwork. It will be an additional expense to you if your home is improperly insulated. The uninsulated ducts can lead to heat loss, meaning your HVAC unit will have to work overtime to maintain the temperature you desire.
Preparation is Key
Are you prepared for winter? Is your home ready? Knowing how to prepare your home for the winter can prevent discomfort for you and your family when it finally arrives. Experienced homeowners are more likely to understand the importance of checking their heating system before winter hits. They forgot to check their heating system just once — and then vowed to never make that mistake again. As winter draws near, equip your HVAC system for optimal performance by contacting Wrights AC and Heat’s experienced HVAC technicians to ensure your unit is in good working order.