The days are getting colder, the trees are shedding their leaves, and the nights are falling sooner than ever. The winter season is here for us to enjoy. Not only does it mean that you have to pick out a Christmas tree and carve pumpkins, but it also means that you should consider looking into the heating system of your house.
A furnace is responsible for keeping you warm during the winter season. And a little annual maintenance before the winter season can go a long way to ensure they function without any issues when you need them the most. The best thing you can do for your furnace is to schedule a professional checkup from your local HVAC Maintenance Company. However, there are some steps you can take that make sure it functions appropriately, which increases its lifespan. It also allows you to save money on maintenance costs when you hire professionals.
Here is a winter checklist that will help ensure that your HVAC system is in tip-top condition when you need it during the winters. Keep reading till the end to know the things to do on this checklist.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood
- CHANGE THE FILTERS OF YOUR HVAC UNIT
You will probably have a single HVAC filter or multiple ones present behind a vent in the ceiling or the wall. A good practice is to change these filters once every couple of months to avoid the system from getting dirty and choked. Or, if your HVAC system uses an electrostatic filter, you can wash it with water and dry it to re-use it. Frequently changing your HVAC filters will keep out dust particles from the system, which will allow it to function more effectively and prolong its lifespan. While you are doing this, do not forget to change the filter of the humidifier unit. There are various filter options available on the market, but you should buy one that fits your HVAC system. For example, if your HVAC system houses a four-inch filter, buying 20x25x4 HVAC filters will be a perfect idea, as it will ensure a perfect fit.
- SWITCH ON THE HVAC THERMOSTAT
Switch the HVAC system from cooling to heating and keep the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees higher than the ambient room temperature. If you don’t feel the heat coming from the air vents, then open up the unit and examine the wires. However, do that if you are comfortable with handling electrical wires.
Ensure the power to the HVAC system is on. If it still does not turn on the heat, chances are your heat pump, fan, or blower are at fault. In that is the case, calling in a professional makes better sense than doing it yourself.
- PROTECT YOUR AC UNIT FROM THE WINTER
As you will not be using the AC unit during the winter, it makes perfect sense to protect it from the cold environment. It can help you avoid spending tons of money on repair when the summer season comes along. Winter elements, such as icicles, might fall on the condenser and damage it. Cover the AC condenser with a large plastic bag leaving out open space for the exhaust fan.
To protect the exhaust fan, you can cover it with a wooden sheet, leaving a 2-inch gap between it and the fan. Suppose your HVAC system contains a heat pump. In that case, chances are it will be operational the whole year, and covering it can cause it to reduce its efficiency.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR HEAT EXCHANGER
If you do not clean out your heat exchanger before winter comes, it can get clogged from dust and debris and end up causing unnecessary damage to it. Each year, before winter comes, you should call in a professional to properly clean out your HVAC heat exchanger.
When cleaning it, the professional will look for any leaks, cracks, or breakage, which can cause carbon monoxide to enter your home from the exchanger. And, carbon monoxide can cause serious health issues if you breathe it for an extended period.
- CLEAN AND CLEAR OUT YOUR HEATING DUCTS
Dirty and damaged air ducts will decrease the air quality of your HVAC system. It then leads to a decrease in efficiency and an increase in your cooling and heating bills. Inspect all your heat ducts to check for any dents, cracks, leaks, mold, or dust present inside them. You can examine these ducts by yourself but call in a professional to clean them out.
Before you even think about turning on your HVAC system full-time, do a checkup to ensure everything is functioning as it should. Inspect the pilot light to know if it is on. Turn on the heat and clean out all air outlets to ensure that heating is getting inside your house with any issue. Following this HVAC maintenance checklist will ensure that you have an HVAC system that runs all year round without any problems.