When it comes to winter prep, we here at Winters® Home Services, take it pretty seriously. From purchasing the right clothing to switching out your cold brew for your hot, pumpkin spice latte, there’s a lot that goes into setting up your lifestyle for the drop in temperature. You may be thinking, “But it’s fall! We are not in parka-wearing weather yet!” And, you’re right, but that is also precisely why we need to start working out any kinks in our HVAC systems now! That way, when the sun hides and the cold front rolls in, you are ready to take refuge in your well-heated home.
So, this year, you’ll be well-set to crank your heat, grab your favorite sweats, and get started on that Harry Potter movie marathon you whip out every winter. The one difference about this year? We will get through all eight movies malfunction-free, together! CJ here, a resident Harry Potter fanatic myself, with your HVAC checklist to complete this fall!
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well and ready for the cool holiday season:
Check For Air Leaks
If you have felt any drafts this fall, it is important that you observe your home for air leaks. If your windows and doors are not properly sealed, your system will have to work tremendously hard to reach your desired temperature change indoors. Why is this the case? Air leaks counteract your heating efforts, as your adjusted air is seeping out of your home which negatively affects the time and amount of energy needed to hit your targeted temperature. If you do see any gaps around your windows or doors, apply weatherstripping and caulking where applicable. This will keep your hot air in and that cool Boston breeze out.
Protect Your Condenser
Just as you need to clear leaves and debris from your condenser unit in the fall, you will need to guard your outdoor condenser unit against frost, ice, and snow. However, never cover your condenser unit, unless your cover is manufactured for HVAC systems, as covers can hinder the operation of your unit, cause rodents to flock towards your system for shelter, and instigate mold growth. You’ll want to clear your condenser unit of accumulating snow, check on your condenser coils to ensure that they do not freeze, and keep an eye out for mold growth.
Change Your Air Filters
Your HVAC furnace filter needs to be changed before the season starts and then monthly thereafter. This will not only ensure that your system is running smoothly, as it increases airflow, but this will also keep your indoor air quality intact. Maintaining your home is essential, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic, and keeping your air filters clean plays a major part in ensuring your home is a healthy one.
A dirty air filter is unable to catch subsequent debris flowing through your ducts. This means that your system is releasing dust particles and other airborne contaminants into your space, which can be detrimental to the health of those residing with you. Make sure you check this task off of your to-do list before winter hits!
Check Your Air Vents
To ensure your system is working properly, your delivery network must be in good working order. Check your air vents for obstructions, built-up debris and dust, and open slats. Covering your air vents can lead to an increase in pressure within your network of ducts, leading to cracks and leaks in your HVAC system. Just like your plumbing, your ductwork can become clogged as well. Dust, airborne particles, and other debris can begin to accumulate within your system, especially if your air filters are not regularly changed. Lastly, closing your air vents will not direct your heated air into other rooms, but rather cause a back-up of pressurized air within your HVAC network. These all lead to insufficient cooling, as your airflow will become weaker as leaks and cracks become worse.
Consider Installing A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are the Tesla’s of HVAC control panels. And not just because they are exceedingly energy-efficient. With the capabilities that come with a smart system, your energy bills and heating efficiency will see substantial improvements. Scheduling, automatic temperature sensor adjustments, and Wi-Fi connectivity control provide the ideal trifecta to perfecting your climate control. These features allow optimized heating, decreasing your utility costs, and increasing your HVAC operational effectiveness.
Pro Tip: Energy Efficient Temperatures
Reducing your thermostat temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours per day will result in up to 15 percent of energy savings per year on your utility bill! The recommended indoor temperature for winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting will keep your heating costs in check and provide a comfortable space for you and your family. Additionally, you can reduce your temperature even more at night, as cooler climates facilitate healthy sleeping cycles.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
Lastly, you will want a trained HVAC technician to take a peek at your system before kicking it into high gear for the season. If you found any problems during the above checklist, you will need a professional to complete repairs this fall! Performing routine maintenance is essential in keeping your system running. System lifespan and operation depend on reducing wear and tear. And tune-ups are your best bet for achieving a long and healthy HVAC life.
Complete A Practice Run
After you have gone through your fall prep, you’ll want to try your system out to make sure it turns on and completes an entire heating cycle! If you encounter any problems, you’ll have ample time to have them repaired before the winter season takes hold. From a malfunctioning thermostat, which sometimes only needs a quick battery change, to an aged out system that needs replacing, you’ll want all of the kinks worked out so you can stay toasty through your winter days in.
If you are not sure if your system is in need of repairs, you’re not alone. Most homeowners can’t tell when they need a new system. That’s why I am here, with my buddies at Winters® Home Services, so you can simply contact your local HVAC professionals for heating inspection. Through this process, your entire system will be analyzed! The source of any heating problem will be identified, and your system will be back up and running with plenty of time to spare.
End up needing a replacement? Winters® can complete this upgrade for you as well. No matter the problem, no matter the source, you’ll have heat for the winter. And you want to know how and why we can make that happen? Because you didn’t fall behind this season, and you completed your HVAC prep-list in time for any and all needed repairs to be completed before you press play on your DVR.
For heating maintenance, repairs, and system installations, contact Winters Home Services (617) 977-3101. We are here to ensure your heater is ready to be fired up this coming winter. As the pandemic continues, we remain in practice with the CDC recommended protocols to ensure both our technicians and clients remain safe and healthy. Don’t hesitate to reach out! We are here for same-day service, so we can provide next-level comfort.