As the temperatures drop, homeowners are focused on winterizing their homes to protect their homes and increase the comfort level of family members who are staying indoors. While doing this, you should not forget your HVAC system.
A poorly functioning or inadequately winterized HVAC system can lead to a number of problems, such as higher energy bills, uncomfortable temperatures, and potential damage to your home.
What is winterizing?
In general, winterizing is the process of preparing something for winter. This means taking steps to protect homes and HVAC systems from the harsh weather conditions they will be exposed to during the winter months.
There are many things that homeowners can do to winterize their homes, but one of the most important is making sure that their HVAC system is ready for the cold weather.
What good will winterizing my HVAC system do?
Many people argue this point, but the simple answer is to protect your investment. Your HVAC system consists of many parts, all working together in unison. If one part isn’t working correctly, you risk significant damage to other elements when it comes time for them to kick on and work hard during the colder months.
Here are some of the benefits of properly winterizing your HVAC system:
Reduced energy bills. You can reduce your energy bill during the colder months by having a well-serviced and clean furnace, providing better performance, and minimizing any issues that could lead to higher utility costs.
Extended life expectancy. Keeping your HVAC system in good working order helps ensure that it will last longer. By providing regular maintenance and cleaning, you can keep your system running smoothly to give you years of comfort.
Smooth operation. Properly winterizing your home will help keep the interior air temperatures comfortable with minimal fluctuations. This is one significant advantage that can go a long way in reducing any potential strain on your HVAC system and can give it a break from the more rigorous tasks of heating or cooling.
Peace of mind. Properly preparing your home and HVAC system for the winter gives you peace of mind, knowing that you have done everything you can to protect both from the elements. If you want extra protection, consider having a professional winterize your system for you.
What are the factors to consider?
In order to accomplish the task of winterizing your home, you should consider a number of factors when planning your approach. These factors will vary in degree based on where you live, but if one factor is not addressed, it can lead to a domino effect that compromises other parts of your plan and creates additional problems for you down the road.
Here’s a look at some issues homeowners should consider when assessing their homes for winterization.
Weatherstripping and caulking. These are two of the most basic methods for winterizing your home. Weatherstripping is installed around doors and windows to create a tight seal and keep cold air out, while caulking is used to fill in any gaps or cracks where warm air could escape.
Insulation. A well-insulated home will help keep the heat in during the winter months and can be done in a number of ways, such as installing insulation in the attic, walls, or crawl spaces.
HVAC system maintenance. One of the most important things you can do to protect your home during the winter is to make sure your heating system is in good working condition. Have it serviced by a professional to ensure that it is clean and functional.
Consider your outdoor pumps and HVAC condensers. If you live in an area where the temperature dips to sub-zero, it could cause issues with these parts of your home because they are not designed for extreme winter temperatures. Be sure to drain these systems and use covers to protect them from the elements.
Emergency preparedness. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for emergencies, such as a power outage, and having an emergency kit stocked with supplies can come in handy if something unexpected happens.
You can go a long way in properly winterizing your home by addressing these key areas. And don’t forget to check our blog often for more tips on how to protect your home and HVAC system!
When is the perfect time for winterizing?
The best time to winterize your home is before the weather turns cold. Waiting until the cold hits can put a lot of pressure on you and lead to rushed decisions, which may not be the best for your home. If you take the time to plan ahead, it will make the process much easier and less stressful.
Homeowners in colder climates should start preparing their homes earlier in the fall, while those in milder temperatures can wait until closer to winter. No matter when you start, be sure to allow plenty of time to complete all the tasks necessary for a thorough winterization.
It’s never too late to winterize your HVAC unit!
Understandably, homeowners want to relax and take it easy during the warmer months, but it is essential that you remember to winterize your HVAC system before the cold weather sets in. However, if you are one of those who forgets or just procrastinate, it’s not too late!
There are a number of things you can do to DIY winterize your home even if the colder months have already arrived. Some of these include:
Cleaning the air filters – one of the most straightforward steps you can take is to clean your air filters. You can do this by simply removing and rinsing them under a faucet. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly before reinstalling to ensure optimal airflow and performance.
Cleaning the HVAC system – another step you can take is to give your HVAC unit an overall cleaning, which can help improve its efficiency, such as removing dirt and debris that has accumulated on the outdoor unit.
Covering outdoor units – using insulated covers can help protect your outdoor HVAC unit from the elements, such as leaves, pine needles, or snow that could damage it or reduce its performance during the colder months.
Don’t forget about drains! – It’s important to remember that your HVAC system has drains, which can become clogged if not cleared out regularly. Be sure to clear these drains before the cold weather hits to prevent any water accumulation and damage to your system.
Winter blunders to avoid
There are a few common mistakes people make when winterizing their homes, leading to problems down the road. Some of these include:
Not preparing early enough
Getting started right away is essential, especially if you want to avoid stress or rush during the process. If you try doing some things yourself, make sure you know what it takes for each step. Don’t forget to check regulations, laws, contracts, etc.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Not choosing the right contractor.
When it comes to hiring a contractor, you need to be sure that they are dependable. Check their credibility and, if possible, get recommendations from friends or family. Be wary of any contractors who try to sell you things you don’t need!
And please, please, please… if they pressure you to sign the contract ASAP, that’s a big red flag! Hire some time and search for other options if this is the case.
Not doing enough research.
Be sure to research what steps need to be taken in winterizing your home. There is an abundance of information on homeowners insurance policies (which you should read too!), how it works etc. Do not only rely on the contractor you’ve chosen.
Not taking care of more minor inconveniences.
Some things may seem minor or unimportant, but you should not underestimate their effect. Things like making sure the gutters are clean and keeping hoses attached to outdoor faucets can help prevent leaks and water damage.
Remember that it is easier to take care of these things now than deal with them later.
Not thinking of everything.
During the winterizing process, you should be sure to consider all possibilities. Things like potential damage due to ice or snow on your roof are something that must not be ignored. Think about what you would do if specific issues arose and prepare for them beforehand.
Let Our Team Take Care of Your HVAC System This Winter
As a family-owned business, our Maxcare Heating and Cooling team takes pride in providing quality services and care to each of our customers. We understand how important it is to have a well-working HVAC system that offers the comfort you need during the winter months.
When you hire us to service your system, we will provide a thorough inspection, clean the components, and make any necessary repairs. When it comes time for winterizing your home’s HVAC system, we can help address all areas that could be at risk when temperatures drop.