How to Help Your Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation System in Winter

The outdoor unit of an air-source heat pump after a winter storm.

How to Help Your Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation System in Winter

When temperatures drop, your HVAC system has to work hard to keep your household warm and comfortable. Even if one part of the system isn’t needed, such as the air conditioning, it still needs your care. Here are some things to do to help your HVAC equipment do its job all winter and beyond.

Cover Up the Outside Condenser

Covers that fit over your outdoor condenser are easy to find and inexpensive to buy. Find one for your condenser to protect it from the winds, snow, and ice of winter and from varmints looking for a cozy place to spend the season.

Make Sure Vents Are Clear

Make sure that the vents that bring warmed air into your rooms are free of obstructions such as furniture, rugs, draperies, or storage boxes. You’ll also need to remove anything flammable from near your vents. The air coming out of your vents may not seem hot enough to catch items on fire. However, when you first turn on your furnace, the dust that’s accumulated in the vent can burn hot enough to ignite something.

Call an HVAC Specialist

Just before the season gets really busy, bring in an HVAC specialist to inspect your system. This would include inspecting ducts, changing filters, troubleshooting, and otherwise making sure that furnaces, boilers, and vents are all in good shape. If an HVAC system dies in the middle of a frigid night, it’s not just inconvenient but also potentially dangerous.

Clean or Replace Air Filters

Air filters should be cleaned and replaced regularly anyway, but if you’ve been a bit negligent, now is the time to handle that chore. Clean air filters allow air to pass through while trapping pollutants. Dirty air filters cause the system to work harder, which can lead to a shortened working life and pollutants in your indoor air. Make sure to change the filters well before you turn on the furnace for the winter.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat makes heating your home that much more efficient. You can set a programmable thermostat to lower the temperature when the house is empty and then raise it to a comfortable level just before someone comes home. You can also program the thermostat to lower the temperature at bedtime and raise it just before it’s time to get up. Some thermostats can even be programmed remotely over your smartphone or other device.

Be Mindful of Weird Noises or Smells

Strange noises or smells coming from your HVAC system are a sign that something is not right. Sometimes the remedy is as simple as changing an air filter, but it can be more involved, such as tightening a loose belt. If you can’t find what’s causing the strange noise or smell, call an HVAC technician.

Discover More Tips on Maintaining Your Winter HVAC System

An HVAC system that’s in good working order during the winter is more efficient and can last as long as it should. It also gives you peace of mind as a homeowner. For more tips on how to care for your system in winter, get in touch with Upland Services of Joplin, MO.