How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for WinterWhile it may seem a little early, there are steps you can take now to ensure that your HVAC system is working properly and that your furnace will continue to keep you and your family warm all season long. And don’t forget to winterize your air conditioner, so it is ready to go next spring and summer.

Change the air filter

Change the air filter at the start of the heating season, especially if it is clogged with dirt from the summer. Regularly changing the air filter (every 30 to 90 days depending on how quickly it fills up) will keep your system running efficiently all season long by preventing many common problems.

Clean your air ducts and vents. Seal any leaks.

When the cold weather hits, your home will likely be closed up tight. That means the air in your home is recirculating throughout the day. Any dirt in your air ducts and vents will be recirculated throughout your home as well. It’s also a good idea to make sure there are no leaks in the air ducts that could cause your system to lose heat.

Start the furnace at least 3 times before you need it.

To make sure your furnace is in good working order before you need it, turn it on. Set the thermostat to your desired temperature in the winter and let the house reach that temperature. Do this at least three times to ensure the system is working properly.

Listen for any unusual sounds

Sounds such as banging or rattling could indicate a mechanical problem with your furnace. Have the system professionally inspected and serviced before the cold weather sets in.

Look for signs of moisture

Moisture around windows, as well as rust or dirt accumulations on the vent pipe, can be signs that your HVAC system is not operating properly.

Reset the thermostat and check its accuracy

Make sure the system is correctly programmed for the new temperatures and any changes to your schedule.

Change the direction of ceiling fans to clockwise in winter

Ceiling fans are an excellent way to control the temperature in your home and increase your HVAC system’s efficiency. During the winter months, adjust the direction of the fan to rotate in a clockwise direction.

Clear debris from the condenser

Perform a visual inspection of the area around the furnace. Make sure that it is clear of clutter and debris. Having a lot of stuff around the unit can restrict airflow and prevent the unit from working properly.

Shut off power to the AC

When the system is completely dry, flip the switch to cut the power supply to prevent accidental starts on warm winter days. Make a note to turn the power back on 24 hours before using the unit in the spring.

Winterize and cover the outdoor AC unit

Make sure that your air conditioner will be ready to go next summer by protecting it in the fall. On a dry day, remove any leaves, grass clippings, twigs or other debris that may have collected around the outdoor unit. Use a garden hose to remove bugs, dust and dirt.

Schedule regular preventive maintenance.

Annual professional maintenance not only ensures that your system will run properly and at peak efficiency, but it can also prevent safety issues such as carbon monoxide leaks.

Contact IAQ today to schedule your annual HVAC maintenance appointment. We serve homes in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area.