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10 HVAC Tips to Help You Get Ready for Winter

If your home’s air conditioner ran all summer long without any issues, you might be tempted to assume that your HVAC system is in great shape and needs no attention. However, this summer-to-winter seasonal transition can cause HVAC systems to fail, leaving you in the cold on that first really chilly day of autumn.

Here are a few HVAC maintenance tips to help you get ready for the cold months of winter.

1. Replace the Filter

This is an ideal time to change the filter in your HVAC unit because a lot of dirt may have accumulated in the current one while the air conditioner ran in the summer. Simple dirt in the filter is a big reason why HVAC systems break down or at least become less efficient. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to replace your filter about every 90 days.

2. Clean the Air Ducts

Dirt and dust also accumulates in the air ducts over time, so cleaning those ducts is another one of our top HVAC tips for winter. Duct cleaning is typically performed by a professional who uses special tools to loosen up the dirt in the ducts and then vacuum it out. This is especially important if you have visible mold growth, have recently had a pest problem, or if you notice dust coming in through your registers.

3. Examine the Belt

This fall, also make a point to check out the belt of your HVAC system to see if it needs adjustment or realignment. The belt may require tightening if the fan runs off a belt, and most belts should flex about an inch. Any belts with cracks or that are stretched out should be replaced.

4. Inspect the Vents

Another of our HVAC maintenance tips for fall is to check the clean air vents to ensure that there are no obstructions so that air can flow freely through them. Not only could a blocked vent mean that you aren’t getting the heat you need, but it can also cause inefficiencies that drive up your monthly heating bills.

5. Ensure Proper Clearance Around the Furnace

There should be about three feet of clearance around your furnace for safety reasons, so clear away any items that have gotten too close to the unit over time. To prevent fires and inefficient operation, it’s important to prevent things from lying right next to the furnace or being draped over it.

6. Test Your Furnace on Mild Days

It’s human nature to wait until the last minute to do things, but try to remember to test your furnace this fall before you really need it. While the temperatures are still mild, turn your furnace on to check for any obvious issues so that you can be prepared for winter days.

7. Schedule Maintenance

Although there are many HVAC maintenance tips that you can handle yourself on a DIY basis, it’s still a smart idea to schedule for professional maintenance at least once per year. This is largely because furnaces emit carbon monoxide and natural gas, which can be harmful to deal with if there is an issue and you’re not sure how to deal with it. A HVAC maintenance professional is also more likely to quickly diagnose complex heater issues and so you don’t have to go another day without heat.

8. Inspect the Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Chimney

Other things to inspect while you’re taking care of your HVAC system are the chimney and carbon monoxide detectors. On a regular basis, personally check your home’s carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. A professional can check the chimney for small rodents and carbon buildup that may be blocking the passageway.

9. Reconsider Your Thermostat

In addition to making sure that your thermostat works well before winter, you may also want to upgrade to a smart thermostat that can be adjusted remotely and save you money on energy costs. If you are gone during the day for work, a smart thermostat can be programmed to stay cooler while you’re away from the house and then warm back up in time for you to come home in the evening.

10. Find HVAC Supplies Near You

Central Plumbing Specialties is your one-stop source for heating supplies, and we carry all the best HVAC brands to get your heater working smoothly and efficiently. Our numerous New York locations are open to the public and the trade, so we are here when you need us for both professional and DIY projects.

Don’t be caught off-guard by the first truly frigid day in New York! Follow these HVAC tips for winter and contact us with any questions you have about the HVAC supplies you need.

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