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10 Tips to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

Cozy winter still life: cup of hot coffee and opened book with warm plaid on vintage windowsill against snow landscape from outside.

When winter begins to arrive, it’s important to make sure your HVAC system is prepared to avoid any unwanted surprises (like being left in a cold, uncomfortable home). It’s essential to be proactive about maintaining your HVAC equipment in order to keep it in good condition and prevent breakdowns. In this guide, we’re going to tell you what to keep an eye out for this fall to ensure your system is ready to keep you warm this winter.

  1. Change Your Air Filter

Changing your air filter regularly is the number one way to prevent the most common heating and air problems. Because most filters need to be replaced every three months, changing yours every time the season changes is the easiest way to remember when your system needs a new filter.

  1. Clean Your Vents and Air Ducts

Have you ever turned your heater on for the first time in nearly a year, only to be greeted by a foul, burning smell? By giving your vents and any accessible ducts a dusting and cleaning, you’ll prevent this smell from occurring. You might also consider getting a professional duct cleaning this fall.

  1. Reprogram Your Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great way to maintain a comfortable home while saving energy. But if you don’t have a program set for the winter already, now is the time to set it up. Most HVAC professionals recommend a temperature around 68 degrees while you’re at home for optimal energy efficiency.

  1. Get Maintenance Services

Spring and fall are the best times of year to schedule professional maintenance. Having a professional heating and air technician come out and inspect your equipment allows you to rest easy knowing your system is ready to tackle the challenges of the coming season.

  1. Examine the Belt

Inside your HVAC unit, there is a belt that powers the blower, moving the air through the outdoor compressor. You can check this belt for issues such as cracks or damage. If you see any of these signs, it will need to be replaced.

  1. Purchase an Upgrade

If there is a time of the year to take a day without heating or cooling, it’s during the fall. Temperatures are mild: not too hot and not too cold. It’s simply perfect weather to have your HVAC replaced. If your HVAC system is old and needs replacing, now is the time to act.

  1. Start Warming Up Your Unit

Your home comfort system benefits from regular use; it keeps the motor hot and the system loose. After your HVAC has sat unused for months, it may take a little while to work as it should. That’s why you should start running your heating unit in a few weeks and get it warmed up for fall and winter.

  1. Conduct a Visual Inspection

No matter where your furnace is located, it’s a good idea to conduct a visual inspection before the heating season, and periodically during it. Remove anything that is around the furnace. There should be a minimum 3-foot clearance around the entire unit. You don’t want anything draped over the furnace or lying around it.

  1. Check the Blower Doors

While you’re working on the blower, examine the doors to make sure they are sealed. This can help you make certain that the HVAC unit is not allowing combustion gasses (such as carbon monoxide) to enter your home. Regularly check this seal and have it replaced if you see any issues.

  1. Check the Exhaust

There should be an exhaust flue that allows air to flow outside. Make sure there are no obstructions and the flue is in good condition. The roof cap should have all connections securely fastened. Keeping the combustible gas out of your home will keep your family safe and healthy.

If you find anything unusual while prepping your HVAC system or want to set up a maintenance service, contact John Nugent & Sons now. We’ll help make sure your system is prepared to keep you and your family warm during the winter.

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