Friday, September 20, 2013

The 5 Maintenance Checks You Need to Prepare for Winter

The changing seasons are a time for fresh starts, transitions, and preparation. As homeowners start battening down the hatches for the colder months, you can get a head start by making sure these five areas are prepped and ready.

Air Filter Upgrade.

While it should be changed every month, your home’s air filter should be changed and ready for when you begin using your heating system. A clogged air filter will cause your HVAC system to use more energy, resulting in an unnecessary increase in your heating bill. If you want to be proactive, you can even buy in bulk and avoid later trekking through the elements.

Closed Door Policy.

Also of vital importance is accounting for every entryway and open source for the outdoors to make its way inside. Windows, doorways, roof access and basement entries, areas where walls meet: all need to be properly adjusted and sealed to ensure that no wasted circulation occurs.

An open path through the attic can let as much heat escape as a wide-open window, so be certain that your home’s fortification is thorough.

Out with the Cold, In with the Humidity.

Restarting a heating system after enjoying the summer months can quickly create a dry environment indoors. A humidifier can alleviate the pangs of this transition, thwart static buildup in your home, and even provide some additional health benefits for your air and complexion. It’s important to ensure that your humidifier unit is properly cleaned and ready to reinitiate, so take the proper steps to make sure it’s in working order.

If you’ve never thought about having a humidifier, there are a number of options available to you—from single room units to house-wide humidifying units that provide the most long-term benefit.

All Clear Outdoors

An often-overlooked obstacle that can hinder savings is built up debris or foliage on or around your outdoor HVAC unit. Take the proper steps to clear the brush and buildup appropriately.

This is something best done while the weather is still temperate and the last thing you’ll want to worry about in the thick of winter. Make certain that the unit remains unobstructed and prevent any potential threats by trimming any nearby foliage.

Expert Opinion.

Before the increased demand hits, it’s in your best interest to have a trained HVAC specialist inspect your entire system to make sure it’s in fully operational. He or she will be able to provide you with the best practical advice for enjoying controlled-climate comfort during the winter while simultaneously saving wherever possible. Your specialist will also be able to perform a number of these checks if need be.

Unforeseen emergencies do happen, but having these preparations in place will help to minimize or even eliminate the threat of them occurring. For those unforeseeable worst-case scenarios, just know that emergency HVAC services do exist.