With fall, football season and cool nights just around the corner, it isn’t too early to start thinking about preparing your HVAC system for the cold winter months ahead. And based on this year’s cool summer, we are looking at another harsh Iowa winter. Let’s take a look at Wyckoff’s Top 5 helpful hints to make sure your furnace and heating system can withstand the temperatures this winter.
- Examine your HVAC unit for proper functionality. Some HVAC systems can last up to twenty years before needing replacement, but it never hurts to check. If you wait until the last minute to discover your furnace isn’t working, you may be stuck dealing with freezing temperatures in the dead of winter. Be sure to pay attention to any unusual noises or excess heat or water coming from your furnace. Abnormalities can be a warning that your HVAC system is not functioning properly.
- Cover the basics, change your filter. Simple yet effective, changing your furnace filter is essential to keep allergens out of the air in your home, keep your energy bill in check and ensure your furnace achieves maximum efficiency. At Wyckoff, we recommend changing your filter regularly or opting for a reusable filter which can be rinsed and reused. Be sure to check the MERV rating – an upgrade in this rating will result in a longer lasting, more effective filter.
- Clean air vents and ducts. Throughout the summer and fall, your HVAC system will drag in a good amount of dust and debris, in turn causing airflow restrictions that make your system work overtime. Be sure to periodically clean your air vents and ducts to keep your energy bill in check and ensure your furnace can do its job. When cleaning your air ducts, also make sure furniture, appliances and toys are not obstructing air intake. In addition, inspect your heating ducts for any punctures, dents or disconnected parts. Damaged ducts can result in high energy bills as they allow the warm air to escape.
- Consider upgrading your thermostat. Test your thermostat to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly. You can test your system this fall by turning the heat on and setting the thermostat to your normal winter temperature. If the system does not reach the temperature or takes a significant amount of time, you may wish to consult one of our certified technicians. Older thermostats that utilize mercury do not always provide accurate readings. Consider updating your thermostat to a digital or programmable thermostat. The luxury of programming your desired temperatures will not only add to the comfort of your home, but also save money on your electric bill year-round.
- Insulate and seal. Not exactly specific to your HVAC system, this tip will help to lower your overall utility bill and ensure your furnace only heats the inside of your home. Be sure to insulate your attic and provide weather stripping around your home’s exterior doors and windows. If your garage is connected to your home, weather stripping around your garage door can be an added bonus as well.
After reviewing our Top 5 tips on how to prepare your HVAC system for what looks to be a harsh winter, we hope you are inspired to get ahead of the game this season, save some money and most importantly enjoy the comfort of your home. No matter the season, Wyckoff Heating & Cooling is here to help. For more seasonal tips, contact us or call (800) 246-0273.