The winter holidays are just around the corner. Home maintenance experts suggest that you should start preparing your HVAC system so it won’t break down in the middle of the holiday celebration with family and friends.
Aside from causing interruption to your winter holidays and vacation, experiencing a heating outage during the cold winter months can be dangerous to your family’s health. Dr. Suzanne Salamon, a geriatrician, and instructor at Harvard Medical School said that cold weather brings a number of risks, especially for older adults, including hypothermia.
Make sure your home stays warm and comfortable during winter. Avoid HVAC breakdowns with these simple tips:
Replace the air filters.
The function of the air filters is to clean the air that is circulating through your HVAC system. They hold and trap air contaminants that can affect your health and comfort inside the home. Over time, contaminants like dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander collect in the air filter, wearing down the device and forcing your HVAC to work harder. Replacing your air filters can help guarantee the good working condition of your HVAC unit during the cold winter months.
Clean around your HVAC unit.
Cleaning the space around your indoor unit will allow it to operate properly. Aside from getting rid of the clutter, you should observe a minimum of 3-foot clearance around the unit. Make sure no flammable materials inside your home gets too close to your air conditioning and heating system.
The strong winter winds can cause leaves and tree branches to fall into your outdoor HVAC unit. To prevent this from happening, remember to clear away yard debris and trim trees and plants near the unit. A minimum of 2-foot clearance around your outdoor unit will allow proper airflow and enough working space for maintenance personnel.
Clear the air ducts.
If you notice that the temperature is warmer in other parts of your house, it’s time you check the condition of your heating system. Among the common reasons for a temperature imbalance in a home is dirty or blocked air ducts. Unchecked air ducts may restrict airflow, affecting the amount of warm air circulating your indoor spaces. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it is important to have your air ducts cleaned if they are visibly contaminated with substantial mold growth, pests or vermin, or are clogged with substantial deposits of dust or debris.
Add quality weatherstripping around your home.
Gaps in your windows and doors can cause heated air to escape and the cold winter air to come inside. To keep your home safe and warm during winter and avoid high energy bills, take the time to seal air leaks by applying weatherstripping. It is a much cheaper option than buying replacement doors and windows in preparation for the winter weather.
Weatherstripping around drafty doors and windows can help reduce your heating bills by at least 20%. For choosing a type of weatherstripping, the US Department of Energy recommends using one that will withstand the weather, temperature changes, friction, and wear and tear associated with its location.
Schedule a professional maintenance and tune-up service.
Hiring a professional heating maintenance service will save you from any worries of discomfort and expensive heating costs during winter. Your DIY maintenance efforts alone cannot guarantee the quality performance and longevity of your HVAC system. There are potential system issues or problems that only the expert’s eyes can identify.
Fall is the perfect time to schedule a heating inspection and maintenance since it allows you time to work on necessary component replacements or repairs. Don’t get stuck in the cold this winter. Connect with your local HVAC pros to improve your home’s heating system. Call a licensed and skilled contractor today!