Are you ready for snowy weather and higher heating bills? During changing seasons, home maintenance is imperative to prepare for the cold of winter. Taking the right steps earlier in the year can prevent bigger issues from popping up later.  Keeping your house warm in the winter and maintaining lower utility bills can be challenging. Before the winter arrives, we recommend having your annual HVAC maintenance. We’ve also compiled ten easy tips for keeping your house warm and saving money on your energy bills this winter. Your home will require a little extra TLC when the seasons change, and your HVAC system is no exception. Preparing for winter is very important for your HVAC care. With winter on its way, you should consider to winterize your hvac system. Here are Ten easy steps to take soon.

1. Change Your Air Filters

Have you recently changed your air filters? Dirty, clogged air filters can strain your HVAC unit., but keeping the filters clean will save money and keep your HVAC system healthy. Failure to keep your filters clean can create inconsistent airflow and unnecessarily strain the system, which may damage your system. Our maintenance providers recommend changing your filters once per month during the winter season. Changing your filters will also help keep your evaporator coils clean.

2. Reverse Your Fans

You may have seen the small switch on the base of your ceiling fan. When you flip it, your fan will spin in the opposite direction. The reverse setting will push warm air down from your ceiling and circulate it through your house, lowering your energy bills.

3.Pipe Insulation

Frozen pipes during the winter are a pain to repair. Use less hot water and prevent pipe freezes this winter by installing pipe insulation. You can find pipe foam that anyone can cut at most hardware stores.

4. Schedule Routine maintenance

The winter will put your HVAC unit to the test, so ensure it’s ready for another winter. A trusted HVAC technician can tune up your system for you, investigate any issues, and make sure it’s running efficiently no matter how cold it is outside.

5. Clean Up Outside

Ice buildup and damming in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your house and water to build up under the shingles. This can cause water damage over time. You can decrease the likelihood of this outcome by clearing your gutters of leaves and other obstructions Do you often see large icicles hanging from your roof? Icicles can damage your gutters and become hazardous when hanging over busy areas. Clean out any debris lodged in your gutters to ensure the water from your roof has somewhere to go. With any leaves that have fallen off trees in recent weeks, now is a good time to check our outdoor unit. The accumulation of anything (including snow or ice) on or around the unit can cause inefficiency or damage to the unit, so you will want to check it regularly throughout winter.  Water often remains in your water hose even when you’ve turned off the outdoor faucet. So, leaving your hose attached to the fixture can then cause that leftover water to freeze: sometimes in the pipeline going toward the fixture. Disconnecting your hoses for the winter will help keep your pipes intact when you turn the faucet back on in spring.

6. Check and Clean Vents

Drafts can steal the air from your home and impair the HVAC system from working efficiently. Find out where the air is escaping to prevent HVAC strain. Try lighting a candle and place it next to windows, doors, and other drafty areas. If the light flickers, you may have a draft. Keep air from escaping your house by using draft snakes. This DIY can be something as simple as a rolled-up towel placed under your door, but you can also try making your double-sided barrier that slides under your door and traps warm air inside! Begin with the coldest room first by adjusting the supply registers to the fully open position. Set your thermostat to maintain the desired temperature in the coldest room, then adjust all the other supply registers accordingly in the warmer rooms until you have balanced the entire system.  In warmer months, you should keep your foundation vents open to circulate air in a crawl space. Keeping the vents open prevents mildew and rotting. When winter rolls around, it’s best to keep your foundation vents closed. That way, you will better protect your pipes against the freezing temperatures.

7. Monitor the Thermostat

Who is the heater running for if no one is home during the day? Smart thermostats allow you to set times when the heater can take a break during the day to save you money. You can save up to 3% on your daily energy costs for every degree you lower your thermostat in the winter.

8. Check condensate lines and evaporator coils

Dirty evaporator coils in your furnace can cause condensate lines to clog and back up, causing water damage to your home. We recommend that you have a licensed professional HVAC service technician check and clean your system annually.

9. Window Insulation

Window film is easily installed and keeps heat from leaving your home through the windows. The clear film sticks to the glass of your windows, and you can peel it off when winter ends. Most hardware stores carry installation kits. Your home loses a lot of warmth through the windows, even if closed.  You can seal drafty windows but put up curtains. Hang thicker curtains and keep them drawn to preserve the temperature in your house. Air drafts from your windows and doors will cause you to lose heat and require your furnace to work harder to heat the space. First, ensure to latch all windows a firm seal.

10. Hose Bibs

If you leave water in lines that service your hoses, you could end up with a busted pipe and expensive water damage.  Turn off the Waterhouse bibs with the shut-off valve in your garage or utility closet. Next,drain all the exterior bibs and leave the valve open all winter.  If your shut-off valve includes a bleeder, your last step is to remove the cap on the bleeder and let the remaining water drain out into a bucket. Replace the cap on the bleeder once the draining is complete.

Need AC Maintenance?

This essential checklist for Winterizing your home covers issues that homeowners often run into during the winter months. You can do some repairs at home, but some will need the experience  and knowledge of a professional.  If you need professional HVAC Maintenance in Reston, Virginia, Cardinal offers HVAC maintenance, repair, and installation services.  Are you energy-efficient and ready for winter weather? Contact Cardinal today to schedule a tune-up to winterize your HVAC system. To schedule service, contact us today here.