Can you believe the weather we’ve been having in Richmond? The reality is that our weather patterns are becoming less and less predictable. We used to have a good idea of when the flurries might appear, but over the last few years, we’ve seen snow in November! You need to be prepared in case the cold weather shows up early. Here are some ways to get your HVAC system ready for winter.
Change Your Air Filters
While you should be doing this on a regular basis, it’s very important that you change your air filters at the start of every new season. You may need to swap them out more frequently if you’re doing renovations, have hosted holiday guests, or if someone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies. Have pets? You should probably install a new filter once a month.
When excess dirt, dust and other particles become trapped in your filter, your HVAC unit will have to work harder. Not only will this lack of efficiency drive up your monthly energy costs, but it can cause your heating system to break down.
Check Your Vents
Along the same lines, you want to make sure that your ventilation system is clear of debris
and/or obstructions. Check each of the registers and make sure nothing — including furniture and holiday decorations — is blocking the airflow. Take a few moments to remove and wipe them, vacuuming along the inside of the space before replacing the vent covers.
There’s a lot you can do yourself, but a little extra TLC from an HVAC expert might be even better. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned is a quick and relatively affordable way to get your HVAC system ready for winter!
Do a Test Run
Starting at the end of September, it might be a good idea to turn your furnace on a few times to make sure everything’s in working order. Try setting your thermostat to your ideal winter temperature, and see if your house heats up as it should.
If there’s a problem, you can troubleshoot before a deep freeze sets in. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to fix a heating issue on the coldest day of the year. Not only will your entire family be uncomfortable, but emergency repairs are costly. It’s better to plan ahead.
Check Your Insulation
When your home is well-insulated, it’s more efficient. What that means is that you’ll be better able to maintain the climate inside your home year round — and you’ll save money on your monthly utility bills.
First, check the weather strips on all doors and windows for any signs of wear and tear. You can lose a lot of warm air because of a draft! You could also hire a local HVAC professional to perform an inspection. If anything needs to be replaced, they can provide guidance.
Get in the Zone
Unless your entire family is home — using every single room at the exact same time — all day, every day, there’s no reason to be heating your whole house around the clock. This is especially true if you live in a multi-story home. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.
You can create zones in your home so that you only send heat to the areas that need it. With a programmable thermostat, you can create settings for when and where to provide warmth so that you’re not wasting energy. When you go to bed at night, for example, you can direct your thermostat to keep bedrooms warm, while allowing the kitchen and living room to cool down. Then, you can indicate when the rest of the house needs to be heated each morning. It’s a great system!
Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
Towards the end of spring and fall, consider scheduling an appointment with a qualified professional who can perform HVAC maintenance and identify any potential problems. That way, you’re heating system will be tuned up and primed ahead of the chilly months.
W.G. Speeks offers a free consultation with our NATE-certified technicians. To prepare for your appointment, make note of any abnormal noises, leaky ductwork, or unusual odors you’ve noticed. You want to make sure that any and all issues are addressed so you can have peace of mind all winter long.