Getting Your HVAC Systems Ready for Winter

Getting Your HVAC Systems Ready for Winter

Your HVAC systems can operate at their best, avoid malfunctions, and reduce energy costs by being ready for winter. Regular tune-ups of equipment help it run more efficiently, prolonging its lifespan and cutting repair expenses. A technician can identify issues before they snowball into bigger problems that require outages or replacement costs.

Consider making an appointment for a tune-up with the professionals at River Valley AC. Visit to make sure your HVAC system is all set for winter.

1. Schedule a checkup

With each season comes an important reminder: it is time to schedule an HVAC system checkup! Regularly tuning up your system is one of the best ways to avoid expensive breakdowns midseason while simultaneously cutting energy costs and improving indoor air quality.

If your system provides both heating and cooling functions, having it professionally checked twice each year - once in spring and again just prior to switching from summer to winter - by an experienced technician will allow them to spot potential issues early and provide any needed repairs or adjustments as soon as they arise.

2. Change your filter

Dirty filters are one of the primary bases of HVAC system breakdown. It's essential to change out your filters at least every 60 days and more frequently for households with pets or multiple occupants who shed fur or produce other forms of debris that clog filters rapidly to keep your unit in top shape.

Before beginning, make sure your HVAC unit is turned off and remove any items that might obstruct vents or access panels. Also, take a photo or write down with a non-erasable marker the location and direction of airflow for future reference when replacing filters.

Next, check if your reusable filter is ready to go by following any manufacturer recommendations for cleaning it and rinsing it before returning it to its place in the vent.

Purchasing one that matches its dimensions would also help, as purchasing the wrong-sized filters can restrict heat flow and cause irreparable damage to the unit.

3. Check for debris

An air duct that has become dirty will prevent the smooth flow of clean, cool air. Thus, can lead to poor air quality and bacteria growth in its ducts. You can check for dirt build-up by wiping down vents and registers with a damp cloth to see if dirt trails have formed around filters. If this occurs, it could be time for professional cleaning services to conduct an intensive deep cleaning of your air duct system.

Air ducts can become infiltrated with fruit flies, rodents, and other unwelcome guests that can cause irreparable damage. A strange odor could also indicate debris build-up within your HVAC system.

Make sure all vents and refrigerant lines running to and from your unit are clear of obstruction. Ensure the area around your outdoor unit is clear of debris and weeds to increase air circulation. Furthermore, this can minimize wear-and-tear wear on equipment. Cut your shrubbery and mow your lawn regularly, removing clippings to avoid overheating the unit.

If covering is necessary, be sure it fits securely to protect components from snow or ice damage.

4. Clean the unit

Evaporator coils in an HVAC system are usually made of copper, aluminum, or steel. Its function is to cool a building by absorbing excess heat. Conversely, during winter, they release warm air back outward into the building space. This is an essential factor for creating a comfortable atmosphere in any structure.

Clean the evaporator coils regularly to keep your system operating at optimal performance. The easiest way is by removing the access panel and using either a garden hose or bucket of warm (not boiling) water (never use boiling). In addition, be mindful of any tree branches that might fall on it during snowstorms.

Rake back leaves and debris around your unit to avoid clogging it. Furthermore, remember to remove any covers after each season ends to avoid inviting vermin into making nests inside it. Finally, make sure all exhaust vents are clear, as carbon monoxide may build up in your home. This, in turn, can lead to serious health complications.

5. Turn it on and test it

Fire-up testing is an integral component of HVAC maintenance. After all, it ensures your furnace or heat pump starts, runs, and stops properly. Testing your system early in the fall allows you to identify any sounds, smells, or issues before winter hits.

If you have a smart thermostat, make sure your programming reflects winter schedules and heating temperatures accordingly. This can help save energy costs by only heating the house when people are present.

Before calling in a technician for furnace or heat pump services, carefully examine ductwork to check for gaps, disconnections, and leaks. An experienced service provider can seal these ducts to improve home efficiency while decreasing heating costs.

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