When winter approaches, your Alexandria HVAC system needs to be ready to pivot. Instead of keeping your home cool, your HVAC must be prepared to put out some serious heat. If you don’t prepare your home and HVAC for the cold weather, you may only be days away from needing an HVAC repair or replacement. Follow these HVAC maintenance tips to keep your system working well this winter.

Call for a Seasonal Inspection

The best thing you can do for your HVAC system is to call a reputable HVAC technician for a seasonal inspection. Although you can provide some routine maintenance on your own, there’s no substitute for professional help. An expert can look for problems and perform tasks that limit the wear and tear on your HVAC.    A qualified HVAC technician knows what it takes to prepare your system for the winter. Thanks to their training and experience, the technician is able to keep your heater and air conditioner safe and functional. No matter what happens with the temperature, your HVAC will be up for the challenge of heating your home.

Change Out Your Filters

If you’re not already changing out your filters every three months or more, you should take the end of fall as an opportunity to start fresh. No matter when you last changed out your filters, pull them out and switch them with new ones.    Your air filters do more than clean particles from the air. They affect your health as well as the functionality of your HVAC system. If you have particles clogging your filters, your HVAC needs to work hard to heat your home. The extra energy needed to move air results in higher energy bills and more wear and tear to your system.    When you swap out your filters, make sure you replace them with filters of the appropriate size and filtration level. You don’t want a lab-quality filter in your home, or your HVAC system will be overworked. If you’re not sure which filter you need, ask an HVAC technician for advice. 

Check Your Vents

Before you fire up your heater, check your vents for fire hazards. If there are clothes, furniture, or other flammable items in front of the vents, you could become a victim of a house fire. Be proactive and remove any fire hazards.   There’s another benefit to clearing space around your vents. If you have anything blocking your vents, you need to worry about the air flow. Restricted air flow causes your HVAC system to work harder and be less effective at heating your home. You may need to rearrange some furniture to improve the air flow and reduce the fire risk.   It’s worth mentioning that you might notice a burning smell coming from your vents. If you’re using the heater for the first time in months, the smell could be coming from dust burning in your vents. But don’t dismiss the smell. If you notice it long after the first use, there could be a problem with your HVAC system. Shut it off and call a professional before you use the heater again. 

Find Other Ways to Warm Your Home

You don’t need to rely on your heater to keep your home comfortable . Before the temperature drops, consider other methods of maintaining a warm home. For instance, you can install new weather stripping around your windows and doors to reduce the amount of heat loss. You might also consider using your appliances when it’s cold out to increase the temperature in your home.   In some cases, you may want to consider using a space heater to warm one room in your home. By relying on other ways to stay warm, you limit the wear and tear on your HVAC. There’s nothing wrong with using your heater, but you should avoid using it more than necessary.

Test Your Furnace Before You Need It

Why wait for the coldest day in the winter to test your heater? Before the cold arrives, test your heater. If you have any problems, you can have a technician fix them before you’re left to freeze. You also won’t have to deal with the long wait times that often come in the heart of the winter. 

FAQ: How Long Should HVAC Run in the Winter?

It’s difficult to say exactly how long your HVAC should run in the winter because every home is different. Your home’s heating needs may be different than your neighbor’s. However, if you want to avoid needing heater repair services, you should make sure your heater only runs for approximately 10 to 15 minutes per cycle. Anything more or less than that could take a toll on your system, even if you rely on HVAC maintenance services for routine maintenance.

How Do I Prepare My HVAC for Winter?

If you follow the five tips above, you should be ready for the cold. Working with a company that offers HVAC maintenance in Alexandria is another easy way to get your system ready for the deep chill. By performing maintenance, a technician can make sure your heater is ready to work.  

What is the Healthiest Temperature to Keep Your House?

Once again, this is a question that doesn’t have a black and white answer. For one person, the healthiest winter temperature might be 72 degrees. But, for another individual, 68 degrees might be more appropriate. As a general rule, 68 degrees is a comfortable temperature. The best temperature for sleep is about 65 degrees, but this temperature may be too low for you. 68 degrees is a temperature that limits the stress on your HVAC in the winter.   During the summer, approximately 78 degrees is a healthy temperature. Factors like home humidity, size, and occupancy affect this, though. Additionally, the age and health of a person could affect the ideal temperature.   

Call Us for More HVAC Maintenance Tips

Are you interested in some other winter maintenance tips for Alexandria residents? If so, contact us at Cardinal Our HVAC maintenance services prepare you for any season. Trust us to provide HVAC maintenance tips that keep your system keeping your home comfortable regardless of the outside temperature. (703) 721-8888