The cooler fall and winter months are on their way, which means it’s time to make sure your HVAC system is ready for a change in weather. We all know that colder weather can put a strain on heating systems, so don’t put off taking action until it gets too cold outside. This guide will provide you with some useful tips and tricks to ensure that your heating and air conditioning system is as efficient as possible when the temperatures begin to drop.

Change The Filters

It’s critical to replace your HVAC air filter before the cold weather arrives. Replace a disposable air filter with a high-quality reusable air filter if you have one. This will prevent contaminants from accumulating in the unit over time (causing permanent damage and a shorter life span for your equipment). Examine all filters (including the dryer vent) for lint buildup or other obstructions that could reduce airflow or make them difficult to operate efficiently.

Clean The Furnace

Before you turn on your furnace for the first time this season, make sure it’s clean. A dirty furnace can cause a variety of issues, including reduced efficiency and an increased risk of fire. You don’t need any special tools or equipment to clean your furnace; all you need is a screwdriver, a vacuum cleaner, and a bucket. First, remove the furnace filter and clean it with a vacuum. Then, with the screwdriver, remove the access panel from the front of the furnace. Vacuum out any dust and debris that has accumulated inside, making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Finally, replace everything and replace the filter.

Check Air Ducts and Vents for Leaks

It’s essential to check your air ducts and vents before turning on your furnace for cold weather because this is when you’ll notice any leaks or holes most easily (since there will be a lot of air rushing through them). If you find anything suspicious, you can fix it yourself with some duct tape or sealant or call in a professional to take care of it for you. Ensure that you don’t block any vents in your home, including furniture, curtains, and other objects. Blocking vents will restrict airflow and cause the HVAC system to work harder than necessary.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to save money on your energy bills during cold weather months. It allows you to set different temperatures for specific times and days. This will ensure that heat isn’t wasted when no one’s home or sleeping (which can happen if you’re using a traditional thermostat). There are a lot of different programmable thermostats on the market, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing one. Find one that fits your needs and lifestyle, and make sure to read the instructions carefully, so you know how to use it correctly.

Clean The Coils

The evaporator coil (located inside your furnace) is the component of your heating and cooling system that removes heat from your home, and it can become clogged with dirt, dust, or lint over time. When this occurs, airflow is restricted, reducing efficiency and forcing equipment to work harder than usual, resulting in additional strain. If you have an air conditioner, you should clean the coils before the cold weather arrives. Dirty coils reduce system efficiency and can cause it to fail prematurely. Coil cleaners are available at most home improvement stores; however, before using them, make sure to read and follow all of the instructions.

Clean or Change A/C Drain Lines

Dirty drain lines can cause several problems, including: 
  • Water leakage
  • Mold growth
  • Bad smells
  • Inefficient operation
To prevent these issues from happening, it’s important to clean your HVAC drain lines regularly. If you notice any dirt or debris in the drain lines, simply remove it using a wet/dry vacuum. Then flush out the entire line with clean water and allow it to dry completely before putting everything back together. If your drain is clogged (which can happen if hair, lint, etc., builds up), call in a professional to clear it out for you. This is a job that should not be attempted by someone who is not experienced in this area.

Insulate The Ducts

If your home was built more than a few years ago, there’s a good chance that the ducts aren’t properly insulated. This can lead to energy loss and higher utility bills because the HVAC system won’t be as efficient. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your ducts are professionally insulated if they aren’t already (note: a contractor may need to come in and check before insulation can be added). This is one of those home improvement projects that will pay for itself over time – especially if your home is older and the ducts are not well insulated.

Schedule An Annual Service Check

It’s a good idea to schedule an annual service check for your heating and air conditioning system, even if it seems to be working perfectly. This will ensure that everything is in good condition and that there are no potential problems on the horizon. Most HVAC companies offer service checks as part of their regular maintenance plans, so be sure to ask about it when you call. Even if you have to pay a bit more for the service, it will be well worth your while in the long run because it can save you money on costly repairs later down the road.

Test Smoke Detectors

Finally, before you get too far into winter, it’s important to test all of your smoke detectors and replace any that don’t work correctly. You can do this easily by following these steps: 
  • Make sure they are plugged in (if applicable). 
  • Make sure there is a battery inside. 
  • Remove the detector from its base. Clean off the contacts on both the detector and the base. 
  • Replace the battery (if applicable) Reattach to its base.
These are just some of the best tips and tricks to ensure your heating and air conditioning system is ready for winter. If you follow these steps, it will reduce the risk of breakdowns or malfunctions while keeping you comfortable in the meantime.

Heating and AC Repair in Sterling, VA

Schedule a service check for your heating and air conditioning system with Cardinal Plumbing, Heating & Air today! Cardinal Plumbing, Heating & Air offers service checks as part of their regular maintenance plans. This will help keep it running efficiently all winter long. Click here to learn more about heating and air conditioning services. (703) 721-8888