It’s hard to believe that the first couple weeks of the new year are already behind us. We’re deep in the middle of winter, but some days feel like springtime. Right now, the only thing predictable about Virginia weather in January is that it’s unpredictable. That’s why this is the perfect time to go over your plan for HVAC winter maintenance.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! We’ve got tips for winterizing your HVAC system that will not only keep your home toasty and warm, but also protect your heating and cooling unit while saving you money. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Let’s cover five easy steps you can take today.
Test Your Heating System
Don’t wait until it’s freezing outside to turn the heat on. Otherwise, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise! Test your HVAC unit a few times on warmer days just to make sure it’s in good working condition. That way, if there is a problem, you’ll have plenty of time to address it.
If you discover an issue, you might be worried about the cost of scheduling a maintenance appointment to have the issue evaluated, but it’s much better than allowing a problem to worsen. Being proactive can save you from needing emergency repairs or having to replace your unit.
Add Some Insulation
Good insulation plays a key role in the overall efficiency of your home. Have a qualified HVAC technician inspect your attic for signs of insulation deterioration and identify any other areas of your home that need attention. Basements and new additions are always a good place to start. The goal is to prevent warm air from escaping your home.
Also, take some time to check your windows and doors for drafts. Check the weather stripping and replace it, as needed. The less cool air entering your home through leaks and cracks, the less your HVAC has to work to keep up with the winter temperatures.
Cover Your Outdoor AC Unit
You won’t be using your cooling system for a few months, so consider purchasing an affordable cover to keep it safe. You’ll be grateful you did when the Virginia heat rolls in this summer! Look for a cover that is waterproof and breathable, so that moisture doesn’t collect and build up.
This can help protect your outdoor AC unit from ice, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. Remove any grass clippings, leaves, and twigs from the surface and surrounding area before covering your air conditioner, and be sure to clear any snow or ice that accumulates over the winter.
It’s tempting to turn the heat all the way up when it’s very cold outside, but maintaining a consistent indoor temperature is a much better plan. You’ll not only stay warm, but you’ll also reduce the wear and tear on your HVAC unit.
Using a programmable thermostat and implementing a zone control system can maximize efficiency and comfort all year round. Not only might you extend your heating system’s lifespan, but you may notice significant savings on your energy bill.
Change Your Air Filter
A dirty air filter can have a huge impact your heating system’s performance during the wintertime and throughout the year. We spend more time indoors during these cooler months, which can result in a faster and higher buildup of dust, allergens, and other particles. Basically, your ventilation system can get pretty grimy.
Changing your furnace’s filter will let air flow without obstruction, which will allow your HVAC system to more evenly distribute warmed air throughout your home. Additionally, it can improve indoor air quality, which is particularly important when it’s dry during cold and flu season.
HVAC Winter Maintenance in Richmond, VA
Between YouTube and great DIY websites, there’s a lot you can do yourself to maintain your home. There will be times, though, when it’s best to call in the professionals. While we encourage homeowners to become comfortable with all aspects of maintaining a home, attempting to perform HVAC repairs on your own can be a costly (and dangerous) mistake.
The NATE-certified technicians at W.G. Speeks are here to provide guidance for all your HVAC winter maintenance needs. We offer a free, no-risk consultation and are here to help keep your heating system working optimally year round. We’ve been proud to serve the Greater Richmond Region since 1943. Give us a call today!