Protecting your heating and cooling equipment in winter is a priority for many homeowners and business owners. The HVAC system that cools your property in the summer and warms it in the winter must be cared for if you want it to run efficiently when needed. These systems are an investment and should be protected as much as possible. The heating and air near me team at Swaim Electric has compiled a list of ways you can care for your HVAC system this winter.
If you have an air filter in your HVAC unit that can be cleaned and used again, make sure you wash it thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, debris, and other harmful items that can clog the system. The air filter should be cleaned at least twice each year: once prior to using the air conditioning in the summer and once prior to using the heat in the winter.
If the air filter cannot be cleaned and reused, it’s time to replace it with a new one. These filters can be purchased at any home improvement store or online. It takes two minutes to remove the current air filter and replace it with a new one.
Cleaning or replacing an air filter in your HVAC system will allow the unit to run efficiently and prevent contaminants from being circulated throughout your home.
Have you noticed an uptick in your utility bills? Have you noticed that your HVAC system is running more often than normal? If so, it’s time to check the ductwork in your home for possible leaks. When you find the leaks you can seal them. This ensures that the air you are moving through the system reaches the rooms you need heated in the winter or cooled in the summer. It also helps lower your utility bills.
Check areas of your home for proper insulation. This includes the attic, garage, basement, around windows and doors, and any other areas that might allow cold air to seep into the home from outside. You can improve the insulation of your home by using caulk to close gaps between windows and windowsills and doors and doorframes.
It is easy to forget about your exterior air conditioning unit in the winter since it hasn’t run in a few months. However, you should protect it from the elements by covering it. Draping a cover over the unit keeps leaves, animals, and other debris from getting into the unit. If you decide against covering the unit you should clean it out before its first use in the spring to avoid any problems.
Try to use a cover that does not restrict natural airflow to the unit. Restrictive covers can trap moisture in the unit, which can lead to rust and damage to the coils. There are covers on the market that allow for proper airflow so moisture does not get trapped in the unit.
A programmable thermostat makes it easy to save money on your utility bills each month. It can be very tempting to set your thermostat to a specific temperature and leave it there for the entire winter. However, this can do a number on your utility bills and your wallet. A programmable thermostat lets you set a schedule as to what days and times you want the house to reach a certain temperature. Programmable thermostats are great for homes that have multiple HVAC zones. In order to maximize savings on your utility bills, you should set the thermostat to 68 degrees in winter.
Be sure to insulate the exterior AC unit so that pipes do not freeze during the winter. This can be done by installing foam pipe covers on the unit’s pipes and wiring that are exposed to the elements. Duct tape can secure the foam pipe covers to the unit so they do not need to be replaced with each storm. Adding insulation ensures that the pipes will not freeze and then crack.
Your heating unit should be serviced every year prior to its first use. If you didn’t schedule maintenance before turning it on, you still have time to get the unit serviced. A proper service appointment with the heating and cooling near me team from Swaim Electric will ensure that there are no broken or improperly working parts, that the unit is clean, and that the pilot light is lit. We offer maintenance contracts so that you never miss service for your HVAC unit each year.
Does your home have a whole-house humidifier? If so, it’s a good idea to check that it is working. Clean the water panel so that there are no backups into the home. Remove any debris from the unit and check for and remediate mold. It’s not difficult for mold to appear on a humidifier since it has moisture and water in it constantly.
Every home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector. There should be a detector in the room where your furnace is located and one near where you sleep. If you have a two-floor home with a basement, it’s advisable to have one of these detectors located on every floor of the home. Change the batteries when you use the furnace for the first time. In fact, change the batteries in all of the carbon monoxide detectors when you change the clocks twice per year.
Make sure the registers and baseboards throughout your home are clear of all debris. Vacuum them to remove dust and anything else that might have fallen in them during the spring and summer months. You want to ensure that the heat is dispersed from the registers and baseboards thoroughly, so removing any blockages makes it easier for this to happen. At the same time, you want to make sure that nothing in the baseboards can catch fire if sitting against the pipes. The pipes that run through baseboards get extremely hot.
It’s not uncommon for clutter to wind up all around the furnace, especially if it is located in a storage room in the basement of your home. All clutter should be removed from around the furnace so that nothing blocks the system from getting the proper airflow it needs. Clutter should also be removed that nothing winds up near the pilot light, which can spell disaster if a fire starts. Heating and air near me tips for HVAC protection in the winter from Swaim Electric can ensure your system runs smoothly.
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