The thought of ‘winterizing’ your HVAC system may seem like a daunting task. The good news is, all it takes is a few short steps to get you on the path to saving money and reducing your energy consumption. Plus, proper maintenance can actually extend the life of your unit! Run through the following tasks as we head into colder weather and rest assured that your HVAC system will work efficiently for you all winter long.
1. Schedule an HVAC inspection
Before you get started on the following tips, schedule an inspection of your HVAC. You should do this twice a year to ensure proper maintenance and repairs that will keep your unit functioning at its prime. The last thing you want to happen is for your heat to cease working in the middle of the coldest days of winter!
2. Change your air filters
When was the last time you changed your HVAC filters? Did you know that a dirty filter not only affects the performance of your system, but reduces airflow causing the system to work even harder to maintain your set temperature. The good news is, changing your home’s air filters is simple and cheap and goes a long way towards prolonging the life of your unit and improving efficiency. Set a reminder for yourself to regularly change your air filters, and you will be rewarded by saving money on utility bills and extending the life of your unit.
3. Clean your registers and air returns
No matter how clean your house is, dust and pet hair and debris brought in on shoes can actually build up in and around your floor registers and air return vents. You don’t want your HVAC system to work overtime trying to get heated air circulated through your house, as this will increase utility costs and cause mores stress to the system. It doesn’t take long to simply pop out the floor registers and vents, vacuum in and around them, then wipe clean before putting them back. Now you can breathe easy (literally, as this allows the circulating air in your home to be cleaner).
4. Clear the area around your outdoor unit
Grab a leaf blower, a trash bag or a rake… and get to clearing any debris, leaves, weeds or twigs. Make sure that there you completely clear around the unit, in the unit and on top of the unit. This will help prevent clogs to your unit, water from pooling around the unit causing rust, and avoid concealing any potential damage/issue to your unit. One of the top causes of damage to an outdoor unit is from animals – so ensuring a clean space around your system will discourage animals from making your unit a cozy home for the winter. You may also consider taking a piece of plywood or similar material and placing it on top of your unit to prevent ice damage and to help keep it insulated from wind and snow.