Heating and Air Conditioning

How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Winter

Winter is coming and its right around the corner!The last thing you want is to discover an issue with your heating system that you could’ve addressed sooner. Everyone knows proper maintenance is key to prolonging the life of any machine, and your home’s HVAC is no exception.

If you aren’t sure exactly how to prepare your HVAC system for winter, fear not: We’ve compiled a handful of key tips and to-dos from the indoor comfort experts at Go Air Heating and Air Conditioning to check off this fall.

1. Schedule a maintenance appointment each fall and spring.

The best time for HVAC maintenance is during shoulder seasons—spring and fall—when your AC and furnace are needed the least. By scheduling bi-annual checkups with your local HVAC technician, you can ensure your system is running tip-top before you need it most.

Before the pro arrives, check for unusual odors, abnormal noises, and leaks in the ductwork—telltale signs of potential issues, so you can make the most of your technician’s time (and your money).

2. Turn down the heat when you need it least.

A smart thermostat is key to energy savings during the winter season. Get a FREE Nest Smart Thermostat with every installation! Contact us and mention Free Nest and our team will get you more information. The Nest Smart Thermostat comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a smart phone app, lets you track and control energy consumption throughout the house, even when you’re away.

The advanced adaptive technology of The Nest Smart Thermostat learns your preferences and optimizes for a balance of comfort and efficiency. Plus, the it allows you to automate, monitor, or control your HVAC remotely in real time with a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and program temperature schedules to ensure an efficient, comfortable home all winter.

3. Create climate zones to avoid a hot-upstairs-cold-downstairs situation

As you know, heat rises and cold air collects on the ground level, so if you live in a multi-story home, you may find that upstairs feels much warmer in the winter. One way to combat this disparity is to create climate zones. The DIY way is old-school, yet effective: Close a few vents on the second floor to force your heating system to direct more air downstairs.

A more modern solution is to have an HVAC professional install a climate zone system and wireless sensors, which directs heated or cooled air where it’s needed most. The smart system (which can be controlled remotely) uses your home’s unique temperate patterns to program and control cooling and heating, ensuring a comfortable temp throughout.

4. Turn your furnace on at least three times before winter fully arrives

The best offense is a good defense. So fire up your furnace at least three times in early fall before to check that everything operates as expected. Set your thermostat to your home’s desired winter climate and let the house reach that temperature before turning the air off.

5. Change your air filter and clean air vents

One of the most common causes of an HVAC breakdown is accumulated dirt and dust in the filtering system. Check your HVAC air filter every month—defer to your owner’s manual for where filters are located—and wait no longer than 90 days to replace if you see an issue. Keeping backup filters on hand is a smart move, as a dirty filter is an ineffective filter.

Additionally, check and clean air vents throughout your home. The buildup of dust and dirt within your home can also cause ventilation blockages and inefficient airflow.

6. Cover your outdoor AC unit to protect against ice, snow, and debris.

If you live in an area that sees extreme winter conditions, it’s smart to fully winterize your outdoor AC unit before the snow and ice arrive. On a dry fall day, get outside and remove all leaves, twigs, and grass clippings from your outdoor unit—a garden hose can help provide a thorough rinsing, removing animal droppings, bugs, dust, and dirt.

Once the unit has completely dried again, locate the electrical circuit and flip the switch to cut the power supply—that way, you’ll prevent accidental automated starts during warm winter days. Finally, cover the HVAC unit with a waterproof cover that can breathe so moisture doesn’t build up over the winter months, and remember to clear snow, ice, and debris as it accumulates in the coming months

Even if you live in a milder climate, your outdoor unit is still susceptible to falling debris, curious animals, and general deterioration due to the elements. Consider adding a protective top to keep leaves and other debris out of the unit. Show it some love, and your HVAC system will reward you with reliable service for years to come.

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