In our area, winters get pretty harsh. Our HVAC systems protect us from the cold, but they also need to be protected in order to keep doing their job. What are the risks that your HVAC system faces in the winter? What can you do to prevent these problems? Here are some helpful tips.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Is Protected
No doubt you’ve switched your thermostat from cool to heat, but did you actually turn your air conditioner off? There should be a switch on the condenser unit where you can simply flip the switch to turn it off. It’s also recommended that you clear away any leaf litter or other debris, gently wash down the outdoor unit, and put a waterproof cover on it to keep it safe all winter.
Don’t Forget Air Filters
Your furnace’s air filter needs frequent changes to stay in good condition during its hardest-working season. Once a month is recommended. Turn off the furnace, pull out the filter, replace if disposable, wash if reusable, put it back in place, and turn the furnace back on. If you’re uncertain about this process, consult your owner’s manual or give us a call to ask any questions you may have.
Program Your Thermostat
Do you know what makes your furnace happiest? Not having to run as much of the time. Lowering the workload of your furnace will help it stay in good condition for longer, reduce the risk that it will need repairs, and cut your utility bills as well. Set it to a lower temperature when you’ll be away all day or cozy in bed all night, but don’t set it lower than 55 degrees or you’ll risk frozen pipes.
Seal and Insulate
Another way to cut your furnace’s workload is to make sure that the heat it generates stays indoors where it belongs! Close up gaps around windows with rope caulk or foam weather stripping. Add an insulating strip to the bottoms of doors, or use door snakes. If you’re really concerned, you may want to think about additional insulation or getting an energy recovery ventilator.
Consider Your Ducts
Your furnace will have to work much harder (and use more expensive energy) if much of the heat it generates is lost through cracks or tears in your ductwork. Those same cracks can also pull in contaminated air from places like your attic, full of insulation fibers, sawdust, rodent droppings, and more. These particles are not good for your furnace!
Having your ducts tested for leaks and sealed as necessary will save you money and improve your indoor air quality. It will also prevent all that dust and grime from working its way into the moving parts of your furnace, causing extra wear and tear.
Have Maintenance Done
Heating maintenance in Cambridge, MA is usually scheduled for fall, to make sure your furnace is ready for the hard work ahead. But if you didn’t have it done then, it is absolutely fine to have it done now. It’s more important to make sure it’s done every year than to have it done during a specific season.
Reach out to Cooling Unlimited, Inc. to speak with qualified heating experts.