HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) Winter Preparation
Fall has officially began and for homeowners that means it’s that time of year again to start preparing for colder weather. No one wants their heating system to stop working mid-winter or to turn it on for the first time only to find its not working. By preparing your heating system in advance, you can avoid these problems, cut electricity usage, and extend the life of your HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system.
Prepare the heat pump.
If you have a heat pump to heat and cool your home, there are a few steps that you can take to prepare it for the upcoming cold. The heat pump should be free and clear for proper air circulation. Do not build a shelter or homemade cover for the heat pump. Specially-made covers are available to make certain that snow or ice doesn’t get affect the pump’s air flow. It is important to note that if ice does form on the heat pump, do not attempt to chip it off. You should try to melt it with hot water instead. This way you do not risk damaging your heat pump when you need it most.
Change the filter.
Dirty filters will reduce the airflow, which in turn causes your system to have to work harder and use more energy, costing you money. Sometimes a new filter can make all the difference in a system’s performance. When filters are properly chosen and replaced, you’ll see a decrease in energy cost and an increase the air quality of your home or business and increase your systems efficiency. Air filters should be replaced or cleaned, depending on your type of filter, every one to three months.
Schedule a fall maintenance call.
Having a professional properly clean and service your heating system should be done before winter arrives. A professional can spot potential issues while they are still easy and affordable to fix. By getting your heating system professionally serviced now, you minimize the chance of needing costly emergency service during the cold season.
Seal heating and cooling ducts.
A lot of energy is wasted trying to move air through leaky ducts. Ducts that run through crawl spaces, attics, garages, and unheated basements are the most common locations for wasted energy. Sealing these areas can drastically improve your system’s efficiency by nearly 20 percent. You’ll need to use duct sealant or metal-backed tape to seal connections and seams. Don’t forget to wrap insulation around the ducts as well.
Seal air leaks.
Windows, doors, and other exterior penetrations of your home where heat can escape, should be sealed up. This small step can have a substantial impact on your energy usage savings come winter. Check your entire home by doing a walk-through of your home, inside and out, looking for cracks that can be sealed. Cracks around doors, windows, foundation, or on your roof are particularly important to address. If you don’t know how to seal these cracks or just aren’t sure what you should be looking for, your heating specialist can assist you.
Check outside flue.
If your system has an outside flue, the outtake and intake pipes need to be clean and free for any debris. Blocked pipes are a serious danger. They can lead to potentially harmful levels of gas buildup inside of the home, so remember to replace your flue cap after cleaning.
To keep your HVAC system operating at its best, proper maintenance is key. By following our tips, you are ensuring your system the best possible start to winter. The heating and cooling technicians at Phoenix Heating and Air Conditioning are always here to help get your system ready and answer any questions you may have. At Phoenix, we’re experts in determining the best solutions for your heating problems. From basic maintenance and repair to installing your new heating system, call the experts at Phoenix today!
Useful links for the homeowner to follow.