Winter HVAC Maintenance
The cold weather is upon us. Most people assume that if you turn on the heat and as long as it’s blowing warm air they think they’ll be fine until spring. Here’s what usually happens though:
- A cold front comes through and your system can’t handle the strain of running for longer periods of time and stops working. -OR-
- After the first month of running your heating system, your energy bill arrives and you’re in shock at how much it has cost you to run an inefficient system.
As temperatures drop, heating repair companies get busier. If you don’t have your furnace or heat pump tuned-up, you may find yourself on a waiting list along with other people who didn’t prepare their heating system for cold weather. A small repair today can become a larger and more expensive problem in a month.
5 Must Do’s for Winter HVAC Maintenance
1. Change Your Filters
No matter your filter type, the fact is this: A regular changing of your filter is essential to effective HVAC performance. Think of the filter as the lungs of your system. Your system cannot breathe properly if your filters are old, dusty or clogged.
2. Check For Debris
Make sure you keep the outdoor unit clean of grass clipping, weeds, and vines so that it can breathe properly.
3. Clean Coils
When your unit sits outside, it gathers various outdoor dirt particles. Cleaning the coils in your unit should always be done during routine winter HVAC maintenance. Dirty coils hinder your HVAC’s performance in the same way a clogged filter does. A good coil cleaning requires a water hose and a good cleaning agent. For sparkling clean outdoor coils, a firm thumb grip on your hose tip is all you need. Make sure you wash it from the inside out.
4. Clean Blowers
An indoor blower pushes air out of your system. It might sound like your system is on, and the motor might be running, but when your blower is dirty, air is not coming out the way it should. You don’t want to be paying for the sound of a blower. Frequently check for dust collection to avoid any blower blunders.
5. Do Your Duct Research
- There are different types of duct systems. If you’re using the wrong size air ducts, your HVAC may be breathing through a very small straw. The most commonly used duct systems are:
- Sheet Metal – Most durable construction, least likely to grow mold
- Fiberglass Lined – Used to avoid condensation when air supply is significantly cold
- Fiberboard – Provides acoustic insulation (sound proofing) and thermal benefits
- Flex – Flexible plastic over a metal coil. Inexpensive, lightweight and easy to install
You want to keep your HVAC system functioning for as long as possible. Take a couple of days each month to check up on it and perform some basic cleaning, but know when it’s necessary to call in professional reinforcements. Follow this guide to help ensure a long life for your HVAC system, and avoid a pile-up of problems that leads to costly repairs or replacement.
Want to discuss more home energy saving tips and tactics? Call the Hammock’s HVAC. We can perform your winter HVAC maintenance and ensure you are cozy all year long.