How to Prepare Your Heating System for Winter

Winter is quickly approaching, and before the cold weather sets in, it’s important to have an action plan to ensure your home’s heating system is ready. There are several steps you can take to make sure your home and family stay safe and comfortable all season long. Read on for a simple checklist to follow – then rest easy knowing your HVAC equipment will be able to rise to the chilly challenge ahead.

1. Replace Your Filters

Replacing a heating system’s filters is something most homeowners can handle without the help of an HVAC company – and it’s much more important than most people think. If your hot air can’t move freely due to dirty filters, you’re not doing your utility bills, air quality, or equipment any favors.

Filter replacement can typically be done in the span of a few minutes at a modest cost. If you’re not sure how to do it, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted HVAC technician. We recommend filter changes every 30 to 90 days.

2. Clean and Unblock Your Heating Vents

Brand-new air filters won’t make much difference if your vents are blocked by a pile of winter coats or heavy furniture. Air that can’t move freely not only affects your ability to heat your home efficiently but can also lead to dampness and even mold, putting you and your family at risk of respiratory issues. Ensure all of your vents are unobstructed to allow comfortable air to flow throughout your home.

3. Clean the Space Around Your Furnace

No matter your winter heating solution – from gas furnaces to wood stoves – it’s crucial to ensure your system has space to work efficiently. Overcrowding the area around your equipment isn’t just bad for efficiency; it can also result in a fire. Take a moment to clean and clear the space before turning on your unit for the winter.

4. Clean Your Ducts

Before freezing temperatures set in, it’s a good idea to have a professional HVAC company inspect and clean your ductwork. Ducts often run in a basement or crawlspace and can quickly fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. However, if they are inundated with dust, mold, or pests, they can become a hidden threat to both your HVAC system and overall air quality.

5. Check Your Insulation

If your house doesn’t seem to be holding heat well, your heating system is likely working overtime. Unfortunately, if you’re overworking your furnace, you’re also wasting valuable energy and speeding towards heating system repairs. Be sure to inspect your home for drafts in the fall and add or replace insulation as needed.

6. Inspect Your Pilot Light

If you use a gas furnace with a pilot light, be sure to check it well before the coldest months arrive. Something as simple as a pilot light being extinguished over the summer can cause an issue if you happen to be out of the house when the first big freeze comes. Frigid air creeps in quickly, and if your furnace can’t generate heat, it will need to work longer and harder when you finally fix the issue.

7. Schedule HVAC Maintenance and Inspections

Whether you’re uncertain how to handle the above steps or run into a heating system issue beyond your expertise, reaching out to a qualified HVAC specialist is key. A trained technician will know exactly what to look for and how to solve any problems efficiently and effectively. If you require any heating system repairs, an HVAC company can recommend an action plan before the issue becomes more significant.

Smith & Company HVAC Is Here to Help You Prepare for Winter

Heating system repairs can be particularly difficult to manage on your own during the winter months, as easy access to equipment and ductwork may be limited due to snow and ice. If your HVAC system fails in the bitter cold, you may become desperate to hire anyone available right away – and in doing so, you could set yourself up to overpay for subpar work. Regular heating system maintenance from a trusted technician is the key to avoiding system breakdowns or an icy disaster.

Avoid damage to your home and costly emergency repairs with expert HVAC services. Contact Smith & Company HVAC to schedule routine maintenance and handle HVAC repairs before the coldest weather arrives!