The air is crisp, the days short, the temperatures cooling rapidly. Ready or not, winter’s coming! Dig out the hats, mittens, coats, and boots – and don’t forget your HVAC system. Now’s the time to make sure that it, too, is ready for the cold weather.
Preparing for Winter
Winter weather can put a strain on your HVAC system if it’s not properly prepared or maintained. Winterizing helps ensure you maximize your unit’s life and keep it running as effectively and efficiently as possible.
- Remove your window units. If you still have your window AC units installed, take them out and store them safely. They’re not made to sit out there all winter!
- Clean your unit. If you have an outdoor unit, the first step is to shut it off. Then, go to work removing debris (e.g. leaves, twigs, branches) from around the area or in the unit. Use a hose to spray away surface dust and dirt. Allow it to dry thoroughly before covering it for the winter.
It’s worth a trip to the home improvement store to find a good cover. They are relatively inexpensive, and they’ll help keep your HVAC unit clean and out of the elements. You may also want to pick up some foam pipe covers while you’re there. Slip them on your exposed pipes and secure them with duct tape.
Plan to remove debris, ice, and snow from your unit over the winter, checking periodically to ensure the cover is still in place.
- Change your inside air filters. You should do this at least every three months, and even more frequently if you have pets and/or suffer from allergies. Luckily it’s a quick, simple job that pays off significantly. When filters become clogged or dirty, your system has to work harder to circulate air through your home, and your indoor air quality is greatly reduced.
- Clean your vents and registers. Grit and grime can build up with constant summer AC use. This makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat your home. Vacuum dust away, wipe grills and vents, and breathe easier as a bonus!
- Schedule a servicing. It’s a smart idea to have a qualified service technician come in and check that your AC is buttoned up and your heating system is ready to get up and running safely. This can help you from encountering problems – cold, expensive problems – in the coming months.
If you’re not sure how to tackle any of these items, let us know. Our service technicians are happy to show you the ropes in terms of changing filters and other routine maintenance that you can integrate into your regular schedule. A little time and effort makes a big difference in the performance of your HVAC system.
Stay warm this winter. Call Mountain Air Mechanical Contractors, Asheville’s Heating Expert!