Preparing Your Home for Winter with HVAC

As you may know, and as we’ve written before, the importance of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a home cannot be overstated. Responsible for the quality, temperature, and distribution of all the air in the building, a well-functioning HVAC system is one of the most important keys in a healthy and comfortable home.

When it comes time for winter, that truth becomes even more apparent. If your heater shuts off on a cold night, you will certainly feel the consequences.

Before winter rears its ugly head, take a few proactive steps to ensure your HVAC system is running smoothly at full capacity. Here is what we recommend.

1. Fire Up Your Furnace

For the last nine months, your furnace has most likely been operating at low capacity, if not totally dormant. If there are any updates needed, or errors in the heating mechanism, it is much better to diagnose them now before the winter really sets in. This fall, fire up your furnace and heat your home for an hour or two. Repeat this process at least three times. This will ensure your furnace is working properly and it is sufficiently prepared for a cold snap. If any issues arise during these tests, contact your local HVAC technician.

2. Clean Your Vents & Change Your Filter

Dust, pollen, and various other debris particles can accumulate in your filter and vents through the summer and fall months. In preparation for the winter, give your vents a solid clean and replace your air filter(s) to make sure heated air can properly circulate. In general, it’s best to check your filter every month and replace it roughly every three months.

4. Check Your Insulation

The right insulation can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your home toasty warm during the winter. Check any weather strips on windows and doors for decay or a faltering seal; your windows are a prime culprit of heat escape and an entry point for cold winter air. 

Consult an HVAC professional to determine if your insulation measures are inadequate or deteriorating – they should be able to recommend possible treatment options.

5. Winterize Outdoor Units

If you use window air conditioning (AC) units during the summer, make sure to treat them properly during their “off-duty” months. Leaving your inactive AC unit in the winter elements can lead to damage from snow, ice, and debris, as well as general degradation as the metal and electrical system battle cold and moisture. It’s advisable to get this unit cleaned and stored for the winter.

Remove the units and thoroughly clean the grille and sides. Place in a waterproof bag and store in a dry place, so that you can expect peak performance the following summer.

6. Consult an HVAC Professional

A checkup conducted by a qualified HVAC technician in the fall is a great way to avoid any pitfalls and prepare the most important system in your home for the winter. Schedule a consultation every fall and spring to evaluate the health and efficiency of your system. This will provide you with the opportunity to speak directly with a service provider in real time about your HVAC capabilities and options.

Exploring the HVAC Trade

If you are interested in becoming an HVAC technician, you are on the cusp of a high-demand and rewarding career. The trades workers who service HVAC systems on the front lines are offered a stimulating job with a competitive salary and gratification that comes from solving problems. The path to becoming an HVAC worker can vary, but it begins with knowing where to start. At Explore The Trades, we can offer you guidance on possible career paths and compensation. We have the resources, knowledge, and connections to help you craft your future. Learn more about us, and how we can help, on our website: