7 Must-Read HVAC Tips for the Winter
Extreme weather can put a lot of strain on your HVAC system, which can lead to unexpected failures and unwanted disruptions to your holiday plans.
Our HVAC tips for winter will ensure that your home stays cozy and your energy bills stay as low as possible throughout the winter months.
1. CLEAN YOUR VENTS
Air vents are dust magnets and can lead to several issues with your heating and cooling.
Clogged vents block airflow, which means that your furnace has to work harder to move air around, making it less energy efficient. Blocked air flow also leads to increased strain on motors such as the blower, increasing the risk of it breaking down at the worst possible time.
In addition to a higher energy bill, clogged vents can affect your health. Many people suffer from allergies directly caused by poor indoor air quality. As the air runs over the dirty vent, it will take much of that dust along with it, leading to dirtier indoor air overall.
2. REPLACE YOUR FILTERS
Air filters are essential components of your HVAC system. One of our top HVAC tips for winter, or any other season for that matter, is to keep up with your filter cleaning schedule.
Air filters trap all particles in your HVAC system, ranging from dust to hair and even some pathogens and spores. These filters will quickly accumulate enough debris to affect your HVAC system’s regular functions.
Blocked filters will make it harder for the system to move air, resulting in more energy use and more wear and tear on the entire system. Clogged filters will also eventually stop blocking contaminants, meaning that they’ll get into your home, leading to adverse health effects.
Most people will replace their filters once or twice per year, but you may need to replace or clean your filters every month, depending on your usage. One of the top HVAC services by A Customer Services is scheduled air filter cleaning, which ensures you have clean filters year-round.
3. OPTIMIZE YOUR THERMOSTAT SETTINGS
Your thermostat settings can have a huge impact on your HVAC’s energy efficiency. The bigger the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the harder your system will have to work. Setting your thermostat to a reasonable temperature can have a dramatic effect on your power bill.
Modern thermostats are much better at giving you control over your settings. Some smart thermostats will even dynamically change according to various circumstances, saving you even more money without affecting your overall comfort. If you have an older model, consider upgrading before winter hits.
One of our essential HVAC tips for winter is to check your thermostat’s batteries. Low power can affect your thermostat’s functionality and can even result in complete loss of heating until you replace the batteries.
4. CREATE CLIMATE ZONES
If you live in a multi-story home, you may have noticed that the upstairs is often much warmer than the downstairs. The reason is simple: Hot air rises while cold air sinks. Your HVAC system may blow the same temperature air throughout the home, but it may struggle to compensate for this temperature gradient.
An old-school solution is to close some of your upstairs vents, which forces more hot air into the bottom floor. If you want something more advanced, consider investing in a climate zone thermostat that can detect temperatures in individual rooms and react accordingly.
Regardless of your methods, redirecting hot air to where you need it most can help reduce your heating costs dramatically.
5. PROTECT YOUR OUTDOOR AC UNIT
Harsh winters can wreak havoc on outdoor structures, including your AC unit. It’s a good idea to winterize your AC unit in the fall to make sure that it survives intact until summer.
A good winterizing process includes:
- Cleaning the AC unit and removing any debris, including twigs, grass, and leaves.
- Cutting the power supply to prevent unwanted starts during warmer winter days.
- Covering the unit with a breathable waterproof cover to protect it from moisture build-up.
- Clearing any accumulated snow or ice throughout the winter.
6. SCHEDULE REGULAR MAINTENANCE
Every HVAC professional will tell you that prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to your heating and cooling system. Regular maintenance will replace any worn parts and help identify potential issues before they become serious.
An autumn or early winter furnace tune-up will ensure that your furnace runs smoothly and safely throughout the winter months. And if the HVAC professional detects an issue, they’ll be able to address it before winter truly sets in.
We generally recommend two inspections per year: a spring tune-up for your AC and an autumn tune-up for your furnace. Not only does regular maintenance extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit, but it’s also necessary to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty.
7. EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT INSULATION
We include insulation as one of our HVAC tips for winter because proper insulation affects how your HVAC system functions. A well-insulated home retains heat during the winter and stays cooler in summer, while poor insulation will constantly let outdoor air in, changing your home’s indoor temperature drastically.
In addition to insulating your walls, also consider your doors and windows. Doors that don’t seal well will let cold air in through the cracks, and windows are notorious for transferring heat. Improperly insulated attics will let warm air out and will cause your HVAC system to work harder.
The more you can keep a steady temperature in your home, the less work your HVAC system has to do. And the less work your HVAC system does, the lower your energy bill and the less wear and tear on the system, leading to a longer lifespan.
WORK WITH THE PROFESSIONALS
If you’re looking for professional Chicago, IL furnace maintenance, look no further than A Custom Services. Our expert technicians will make sure that your HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy the winter holidays, as well as the rest of the season. Get in touch with us today!