Here in Greeley, Colorado, you know how erratic our weather can be. One moment it’s bright and sunny, and the next thing you know winter storms are rolling in. With an early winter already being predicted, it is important to start prepping your HVAC system for the cold snowy weather ahead. Today, we’d like to go over a few steps you can take to perform an HVAC check up prepare your heating and furnace system for winter, and how to run it efficiently.
Make Sure Vents Are Free Of Clutter
If you have a vent near your floor, make sure there is no furniture, curtains, or clutter surrounding it. Not only does this block air from properly flowing from the furnace, but it also can become a fire hazard when warm air is coming out. Additionally, be sure to wipe down your registers and ducts, cleaning off dust and other debris.
Check And Replace Filters
This is perhaps the most important regular HVAC service you can provide. Cleaning and replacing dirty filters, improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and it puts less strain on its working parts, which can increase the overall life in the long run. When choosing an air filter, consider purchasing high-efficiency pleated air filters. The filters in these are better at trapping small particles, which helps to keep your system clean, your air fresh, and your family healthy.
Turn Down The Thermostat
We know how tempting it can be to crank up the heater once the warm sunny weather starts to leave us, but the US Department Of Energy suggests that winter thermostat settings should be at 68 degrees for energy efficiency — a big drop from their recommended summer setting of 78 degrees. This is a temperature that is supposed to be both comfortable and save you money on your bill. Turning this down even further when you leave the house or are sleeping can also save you money on your bill.
Speaking of thermostats and saving money, have you considered installing a programmable thermostat? These thermostats allow you to program preset temperatures based on various times of the day, improving efficiency and preventing your HVAC from working hard when you are away.
Keep The Windows Closed
While fresh air flowing through your home may have been nice during the summer, keeping windows open during winter can wreak havoc on your monthly bills. However, this means that air will be circulating throughout your home, so ensuring that your vents and air filter are clean will help to keep you and your family breathing clean air all winter long. Rodents and critters have a habit of nesting in air tunnels when the weather starts to cool down, so it is always good to double check that nothing has crawled inside your vents to seek warmth. If you’re unsure how to clean out your vents or replace your filter, give us a call. We’d love to help with your HVAC maintenance and repairs!
Check For Air Leaks
Air leakage is one of the biggest issues with high heating and cooling costs, and in most cases, it is an easy fix. Air leaks occur when there is improper or old sealing on windows, doors, and in attics where there is no insulation. During the winter, cold outside air can come in through these cracks, and warm inside air can escape. This is also a great way for bugs to come inside your home to seek shelter from the winter. Luckily these leaks are pretty easy to detect on your own simply by sight or feeling for cold air coming in. These can usually be fixed with caulking or weather stripping, but in more extreme cases may require the services of a technician.
Additionally, if you have a fireplace, be sure to close the damper when you are not using it. When this is left open, your chimney essentially works like a vacuum, sucking up the comfortable warm air that your HVAC unit is working so hard to provide. Closing off areas like this will help lower utility bills and decrease the wear and tear of your system.
While doing all this maintenance, why not check to make sure all your safety measures are in good working condition? To do this, make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. While these devices don’t always get used, they are crucial to your safety, and it’s paramount to make sure they’re ready to alert your family in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.
Use Space Heaters Sparingly
Space heaters seem to be a staple in Northern Colorado homes, and are the favorite device of that one family member who is always cold. Rather than cranking up the thermostat for your shivering loved one, consider using a low-energy, personal space heater for when you’re in the room, and make sure to turn it off when you leave. Do not use space heaters instead of your HVAC system to heat the whole house, as this is a major energy sucker.
Have Comfort By Nature Stop By For An HVAC Check Up
Regular HVAC check ups and maintenance is the best way to keep your system running efficiently, and prevent any major malfunctions. Contact our HVAC technicians to schedule a system tune up and cleaning, and make sure that your heating unit is in top shape while the weather is still mild. If you do happen to need emergency furnace repair during the dead of winter, that’s okay, too. Our specialists are available 24/7 for emergency HVAC services. Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can best serve you! For more savings on your energy bills, check out our energy saving plans for discounts, maintenance, and priority service.