Tips for Prepping Your HVAC System for Winter

Now that fall has arrived, it’s time to start thinking about preparing for winter. To get ready for the cooler weather, you might need to bring your sweaters and coats down from the attic, make sure your snowblower and snow shovels are ready to go and take care of any pipes or hoses that might be exposed to the cold. Depending on your location, you might need to make several other preparations for the coming season. One thing that most homeowners need to do to get ready for winter is to prep their HVAC equipment.

With winter right around the corner, heating systems will soon be running throughout the day and night to make many homes warm and comfortable. There are a few things that you should consider doing to make sure that your home heating system is prepared for the cold weather. In many places, the winter season brings harsh conditions and below-freezing temperatures that could take a toll on your furnace, heat pump, or other equipment. With planning and maintenance, you can ensure that your system will be reliable this winter. Let’s take a look at some tips for prepping your HVAC system for winter.

Schedule a fall tune-up.


An important aspect of winter prep for your HVAC system is scheduling regular maintenance. Like changing the oil in your car and tuning it up, your HVAC system needs regular preventative care to ensure that it runs correctly and efficiently. Most experts agree that your system needs to have routine maintenance twice a year. In the spring, you should have your cooling equipment evaluated, and in the fall, you’ll want to get your heating system checked. Professional HVAC technicians will inspect, clean, and tune-up your equipment to ensure that it is safe and reliable all winter long. On average, HVAC systems last around 20 years. However, with regular maintenance, you can extend the life of your equipment by several more years.

Change your air filters.


Your HVAC system requires that you change your air filters regularly. Doing this will prevent dirt, dust, and debris from impacting your system’s performance and reduce some stress on the equipment. You should make it a point to change your air filter before switching the thermostat to heating for the winter. Additionally, heating systems may experience heavy use during the winter, so you’ll want to check the air filters more frequently if this is the case in your home.

Clean around your systems.


Before you engage the heating system for the winter, you’ll want to ensure that the area around your equipment is clear of anything that could pose a hazard or restrict airflow. During your fall maintenance appointment, the HVAC technician will clean your equipment. However, you will need to clean around your equipment. Move any boxes or other items that have been stored around your furnace and make sure that any foliage, leaves, or other debris are cleared from around your outside unit. Cleaning around your equipment will ensure that your equipment is safe and efficient during operation this winter.

Re-program your thermostat.


Whenever you change from cooling to heating modes, you need to ensure that your programmable thermostat settings are switched, too. Household temperature preferences and schedules may differ in the winter. You should make sure that your thermostat settings are adjusted accordingly. Additionally, the time changes back one hour in the fall in most locations. This might require that you make some changes to your thermostat.

With winter on the horizon, it is important that your HVAC system is ready for the colder weather. From scheduling your regular maintenance appointment to cleaning around your equipment, there are a few things that you will need to do. With some planning and maintenance, you can ensure that your HVAC system will run all winter efficiently.