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How To Prepare Your HVAC for Winter

Written by Larry Davies | November 6, 2021

With winter comes a drop in temperature and air quality, so preparing your HVAC system for the colder months is essential. The need for preparation is especially important if you plan to stay warm by running your heater throughout the season. How you prepare your HVAC system will depend on how old the unit is and what parts are still functional. We’ve compiled some general tips that can be applied to just about any type of HVAC system.

All Comfort Services supplies the Madison, WI, area with trustworthy comfort HVAC solutions to keep your home safe and warm all winter long.

Call us at (608) 838-7300 to join our money-saving maintenance program called Comfort Club and our 21-Point Service Plan.

Inspect & Clean Your System

If your unit is leaking coolant or has been making strange noises lately, it may need an inspection by a professional before putting it through heavy use during winter. A dirty filter can also contribute to more strain on the blower motor, leading to overheating.

Clean Your Filter Regularly

Clean your HVAC unit’s filter regularly to improve air quality. The longer you wait between cleanings, the harder it will be to remove stubborn dust and dirt particles. Consult your unit’s user manual for specific instructions on how often you should clean it based on your location and usage habits. Dirty or torn filters pose a fire hazard, so replacing them every 30 to 60 days is a critical step in HVAC maintenance. To change your filter, first, turn off your furnace and then pull out and replace the filter. There are many different kinds of filters. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles are removed. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Or, “how well does your air filter work?” MERV ratings have a range from 1-16.

Check Your Return Registers

If you have high and low returns, open the low return register during the cold season because cool air settles on the floor and the low return needs to capture the cool air to be heated and run through the system. Make sure nothing is in front of a return register. Blocking a return register will cause issues.

Air Seal Your Home and Check for Water Damage

Do not neglect areas of potential leakage such as around doors, windows, walls, ceiling joints, ducts, and vents. These areas can let warm air escape during winter use. Check for water damage if you notice a mildew smell coming from the HVAC system when running. If there is no obvious source of damage found, consider cleaning or replacing interior components such as coils, grills, and registers to improve air quality.

Build a Winter Care Plan

Do not ignore seemingly minor problems. They can lead to bigger ones down the line! Call us if you suspect something is wrong with the performance of your HVAC system. Just one problem could prevent your heater from working efficiently during winters, making it difficult to stay warm in cold weather.

Some tasks are best left for professionals, so if you need help from a heating specialist, contact us to have your HVAC unit serviced before winter arrives. You can also check these resources for information on how to inspect and maintain your system:

Checklist for How To Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

Making your home a haven this winter requires a little preparation on your part, starting with inspecting your HVAC system. The following checklist is a great place to start:

  • Check vents and registers for air leaks, seal them using caulk or putty to keep warm air from escaping during winter use.
  • Change out filters regularly based on your unit’s user manual.
  • If you have a water leakage issue, schedule a professional inspection and tune-up.

Engage a professional HVAC team to ensure you haven’t missed anything before using your system this winter. Relying on a professional gives you peace of mind that you haven’t missed anything, and you can rest easy knowing that any repairs that are needed are completed properly. Investing in quality skills gets you quality, long-lasting results.

Contact our All Comfort Services team at (608) 838-7300 and schedule our award-winning HVAC services! 

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