How to get your HVAC system ready for the winter in Galena, Ohio
Whether it be anything from your vehicle to your computer, proper maintenance is always key in prolonging the life of any piece of equipment. Your HVAC unit is no exception, and the last thing you want to find is that it isn’t working when it comes time to cut the heating system on for winter.
We have eight very helpful tips to help you know just how to ensure your HVAC is properly maintained and ready for those colder months.
1. Schedule Routine Professional Maintenance Appointments
It may seem silly to have your HVAC checked when nothing seems wrong with it, but you’d be surprised at how worn and torn parts can lower the efficiency of your unit and raise your electric bill.
A good way to remember when it’s time for an HVAC checkup with a pro is to schedule routine maintenance appointments with ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’ time changes.
In most areas, spring and fall are when your HVAC unit will be least active, giving you plenty of time to make any necessary repairs before the harsh weather of summer and winter.
You’ll want to do your own periodic inspections of your HVAC unit between and just before routine maintenance appointments. Check for unusual odors, noises, and leaks. Take note of any changes in how the unit is operating and functioning.
2. Use A Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can help you maximize energy savings. Many units today are WiFi capable and can be controlled via a phone app. This let’s you remotely control your unit’s settings and keep track of energy consumption.
3. What’s Your Unit Set On?
According to Energy Star, a great way to maximize energy savings is in ensuring your unit isn’t set above what you really want and need. After all, do you really need your home heated when you aren’t even there?
For cooler seasons, they suggest 68 degrees when the home is occupied during the day. When it’s bedtime and covers will keep you warm or when no one is occupying the home, then you can lower the temperature setting 10-12 degrees.
The great thing about smart thermostats, such as the Trane Energy Star certified XL824, is that they allow you to preprogram such settings, set up a geofence, and/or control it directly from your smart device. You enjoy flexibility, and you can shed about 10% of your electric bill.
Speaking of energy savings, your thermostat isn’t the only place you can save. If your unit is at the end of its life or you’re tired of its inefficiency running up outrageous electric bills, consider the Trane S9X2 Gas Furnace. This is a fuel-efficient, Energy Star certified,1% airtight, 2-stage gas heat that delivers comfortable, quiet, cost-effective heating to your home.
4. Climate Zones Work Great For Multi-Story Homes
Heat rises and colder air pools at ground level, which can create a hot upstairs and frigid downstairs. You can combat this problem by creating climate zones. A rudimentary way of doing this is to close one-third of the upstairs vents to force more heat downstairs.
If you’d like a more professional solution, contact an HVAC technician. The Trane ComfortLink™ II Zoning System, for example, uses both sensors and remote control to direct heated/cooled air where it’s needed the most.
5. Do Three Trial Runs At The End Of Fall
You’ll want to turn your furnace on at least three times before winter arrives. Remember to set your thermostat for the desired winter temps and let the home fully heat up before turning the unit off. If there’s a problem, contact your local HVAC specialist.
6. Clean/Replace Filters
Dirty filters are a common culprit behind costly HVAC breakdowns. Yet, it’s one of the simplest and cheapest HVAC maintenance tasks. Depending on the manufacturer, filters will need to be cleaned/replaced every one to three months. But, you should check them monthly since all homes and their environments are subject to different amounts of debris.
Don’t forget to check your air vents and clean as needed, too. These collect debris that can cause ventilation blockages and obstruct airflow.
7. How’s Your Insulation?
It doesn’t matter how efficient your HVAC unit is if it’s operating within a home that’s not adequately insulated or letting in copious amounts of cold air. If in doubt, an HVAC technician can check the amount and condition of attic insulation and ensure weather strips are in good condition.
8. Winterize Outside HVAC Unit
Any outdoor HVAC unit in geographical areas subject to extreme winter weather should be winterized to withstand possible ice and snow. You can start by removing all vegetation overgrowth and debris accumulation while it’s still fall. If the unit won’t be used again until late spring/early summer, then consider a professional HVAC cleaning and covering service.
Use these eight tips to help ensure your unit is winter-ready. A little maintenance today is so worth not having to suffer the cold tomorrow or even evacuate your home because your HVAC unit wasn’t properly prepared for winter.