Modern heating systems are incredibly durable and will generally last for a decade or longer, but attempting to use them for the first time during the winter without properly servicing them can be disastrous. Take a look at these tips you can use to prepare your home and your heating system for the colder months of the year.
Start With Your Air Filters
Your HVAC system’s air filters will not only affect your monthly utility bills, but they are also your best defense against airborne allergens. During the winter months, homeowners will want to clean or replace their air filters at least once every three months. If the outdoor air quality is particularly bad in your area, then you might need to change your air filters as often as once a month.
A programmable thermostat is one of the single best upgrades for your HVAC system and will pay for itself in as little as a year. While a few rare programmable thermostats are actually connected to a home’s electrical system, the vast majority of them are powered by two “AA” batteries. These batteries will need to be replaced once or twice a year.
Protect Your AC Condenser
Protecting the cooling components of your HVAC system during the winter is just as important as keeping your heating components well-maintained. Homeowners that have an outdoor condenser should clean it thoroughly and then cover it. These units are designed to last for 12 or more years, but failing to cover them could result in serious damage within just a year or two. Specialty covers can be used to protect these units from the elements while preventing rust.
Setting Your Thermostat
Families with programmable thermostats will be glad to hear that they might only have to set their thermostat once or twice during the winter. The first thing to do is to set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the family will be home and awake. For many families, this setting will only be used in the early morning and at night before going to bed. When you are asleep or away from the home, the system can be set as low as 58 degrees depending on your own comfort and how much you are looking to save.
Finally, homeowners should have their HVAC system serviced at least twice a year to prevent serious damage and keep it working as efficiently as possible. These professional service calls often include air duct cleaning, inspecting ducts for damage, inspecting air filters, lubing moving parts, filling fluids, and testing the thermostat’s accuracy.