Here are the best tips for preparing your HVAC unit for the winter weather.
HVAC Problems Brought by Cold Weather
If your system is already strained through airflow restrictions or suboptimal component performance, the cold weather could cause an emergency failure. Therefore, ensuring your system operates with less strain will ensure that it’s ready for whatever mother nature may throw at it.
Heating System Maintenance
One of the best ways to reduce strain on your system is by ensuring that it receives annual maintenance. During a maintenance visit, a technician from North Point Air Conditioning & Heating will gently clean your circulating fan and heat exchanger, reducing opportunities for airflow restrictions.
Our professional will also test the system’s components to ensure that they are all operating optimally. If we find something suboptimal, you can have it repaired to reduce the strain on your system. Finally, we’ll tighten the mounting hardware and electrical connections to prevent strain from unintended movement.
Maintain a Clean Filter
Your air filter is the other primary issue that will add excessive strain to your system. As your unit runs, your air filter removes airborne contaminants, reducing the airflow through your system. When this happens, your system’s components may overheat, and you’ll have longer heating cycles.
Simply plan to replace your filters regularly to help reduce this strain. For common 1-inch filters, this should be about every 90 days, but winter may require more frequent replacements. Check your filter monthly to ensure it gets changed as soon as it starts clogging. Gently vacuum it to extend its service life and to increase efficiency between changes.
Maintain Airflow Clearance
Aside from the airflow in your furnace and with your air filter, your home’s vents and doors play a critical role in air circulation. Your system heats your home evenly by circulating the air throughout your entire home. It creates this circulation through the high pressure at the output vents and the low pressure at your return vents.
If your vents are closed or blocked or if your doors are shut, your system cannot create this circulation. Whenever possible, keep your vents and doors open, and give a 2-inch clearance above and around each vent.
Consider Your Thermostat
Your thermostat runs your HVAC system, so if it goes bad, your system will run ineffectively. The average thermostat has a useful life of about 10 to 15 years. If you have an aging thermostat, consider replacing it with an upgraded model.
Be sure to use the programs available with your thermostat to reduce the temperature while you’re not home to enjoy it. Not only does this reduce your utility costs, but also your system’s operational strain.
Consider Your Insulation
If your insulation isn’t optimal, then the wind will pull the heat out of your home, causing your system to strain more during the cold weather.
Spray foam insulation is often more effective than traditional insulation rolls for keeping your home safe. Consider investing in better insulation to reduce the strain your HVAC system experiences by lost heat.
Investigate Minor Problems
Minor problems may not be readily noticeable, especially to untrained eyes and ears. However, these small issues add strain that leads to premature component failure. You may be able to notice these small problems if you pay attention to subtle signs your system will give. These signs include:
- Lower heating power
- Reduced airflow from your vents
- Rattling or squealing from your unit
- Longer or more frequent heating cycles
If you notice any of these, start by checking to make sure your air filter is clean. If it is, call a professional technician to come and to investigate the issue. Dealing with minor problems ensures your system is ready when you need it most.
People around College Station have turned to North Point Air Conditioning & Heating since 1977 to keep their homes comfortable. Our expert technicians provide heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair and indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your HVAC repair with one of our reliable technicians today.