Everyone knows how bad winters can be around Cedarburg, including the infamous snowstorms. One of the many challenges these intense storms bring is keeping your HVAC system running strongly. Here are five tips to prepare your HVAC system for the storms that are sure to come this winter.
1. Schedule Your Heating Maintenance
The most important thing that you can do at the start of the season to prepare for the coming storms is to get your system’s routine maintenance performed. You’ll enjoy better efficiency throughout the entire season as a result. However, you’ll also stave off predictable breakdowns when extreme weather strikes.
Routine maintenance cleans your system to allow it to operate with less stress, extending the life of all system components. Additionally, it seeks to identify components operating suboptimally before the weather turns frigid. Any components already straining will fail with the additional strain this weather brings, leaving your house without heat and with expensive emergency repair bills.
2. Check Your Vents
Your system depends on air movement to efficiently heat your home. It creates air movement by producing high pressure at the output vents and low pressure at the return vent. If these vents are closed or obstructed, then the air doesn’t circulate properly throughout your home.
This also means that closed doors inhibit your system’s ability to heat your home. Sure, one room may seem pleasantly warm, but it means that your system runs longer to bring the rest of your home to your set temperature.
Whenever possible, keep all doors open to spaces that your heating system serves. Keep your vents open, and ensure that each one has at least a 2-inch clearance above and around it. This ensures that air can effectively flow from the vent and create that circulatory flow.
3. Keep Your Air Filter Clean
Your air filter is critical to keeping air flowing through your HVAC system. It removes particles that would otherwise settle on the sensitive internal components. But its placement means it also easily creates an airflow restriction at the start of your system if it gets clogged.
Most 1-inch filters need replacing about every 90 days if you have average air quality. However, freezing temperatures may make your home unusually dry, leading to more airborne particles. Keep some extra filters on hand in case you need to change your filters during a storm.
Plan to check your filter monthly over the winter to catch it early when it clogs. When you do check it, gently vacuum off the intake side to extend the filter life and prevent reduced airflow through your system between filter changes.
4. Fix Small Problems
Small problems may be difficult to catch if they occur after your maintenance visit. However, noticing small changes may help prevent unnecessary strain on your system before the bitter cold arrives. Some subtle signs that you should watch for include:
- Reduced airflow from your vents
- Unusually long heating cycles
- Cooler air from your vents
- Unusual rattles or squeals
- Sooty residue around your vents
A clogged air filter may cause some of these, so check there first. If you’ve just changed your filter, or if it’s pretty clean, call for a certified technician to identify the underlying problem. This protects your system and family from an emergency repair at the time you depend on your system to stay safe.
5. Think Through a Generator
Winter storms notoriously knock out power for at least a short time. Think about whether you’ll try to use a portable generator when this happens. Plan for where you’ll set up the generator so that you don’t risk carbon monoxide poisoning.
Plan for how you’ll which appliances you’ll connect to the generator and how you’ll get them connected. Be sure that you have appropriately sized and rated extension cords and know how you’ll run them through your home. Consider firing up the generator at the beginning of the season to make sure that it starts and runs properly before you might need it.
When you need reliable HVAC service, trust the Hometown Heating & Air Conditioning team. We’ve been serving Cedarburg since 2016. Our NATE-certified technicians provide heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, along with indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your heating maintenance or repair with one of our expert technicians today.