Now that holiday entertaining and fun are in the rearview, it’s time to settle in for the rest of winter. And doing a check-up on systems, appliances, and equipment throughout your home is always an excellent way to start the New Year off right!
Have you experienced a frozen pipe already this season? Or does your furnace seem to be underperforming? There are a few tasks that you as a homeowner can do to ensure that your HVAC system is healthy and happy in the coming months, when the weather here in our home area of Central PA is at its coldest. These are our recommendations for your mid-winter HVAC system checklist.
Priority #1: check and change your furnace filter
As we’ve often talked about here on the blog, not all homeowners realize just how important it is to check — and change out — filters on their heating and air conditioning equipment on a regular basis while the system is in operation. Depending upon the specifications of the particular filters you use, this could mean monthly replacements to keep your system running at its best, yet this is an HVAC to-do that sometimes gets neglected for years!
Why check your filters and replace them when they become too dirty? For starters, clogged filters can impede airflow and cause efficiency loss in your equipment. This leads to wasted energy and fuel, as well as higher utility bills. If filters become too blocked by dirt and debris, mechanical damage can occur, or your system may overheat or totally shut down as a safety precaution. (Which means, of course, that you could be without heat in your home during sub-freezing weather!)
And, don’t forget that dirty filters are not able to stop dust and debris from accumulating in ductwork, which means you may need to have ducts professionally cleaned more often to maintain good indoor air quality.
Inspect and clean grills and returns
If you have had your ductwork cleaned by reputable experts recently, all of your registers, grills, and returns on walls and floors will have been cared for as part of that service. However, it’s still a good idea to visually check each of these now that your heating equipment has is working hard to warm your home for several months.
If dust has gathered on grills, simply vacuum or wipe clean with a dust cloth. Also make sure that household items like furniture, wall hangings, curtains, or even kids’ toys are not blocking supply and return registers.
Revisit your thermostat settings
Did you host family over the holidays, or did you go out of town and leave your home under the care of a house sitter? It’s possible someone adjusted your thermostat settings without you knowing, and your equipment could be running more (or less) often than it should be!
Take a few minutes now and stop by your thermostat for a quick check-in. Or, if you have a smart thermostat that can be managed via an app on your phone or tablet device, be sure that everything is set up properly to control it.
As we move into the coldest days of the year, you may be able to prevent frozen pipes with a few tweaks of your thermostat programming. You may also be able to realize some efficiency gains (and money savings) by changing your settings to follow programmable thermostat best practices.
Schedule that preventative maintenance you forgot in the fall
If you’ve checked off the tasks above, but your system doesn’t seem to be running quite right, think back to the last time you’ve had preventative maintenance performed by a professional HVAC service contractor. Has it been years?
While you should have had the system serviced before turning on your heat in the fall, it’s not too late to schedule an appointment for maintenance or repairs now. Give us a call and find out how Ressler & Mateer can get your furnace, boiler, or heat pump operating at its best. We also offer preventative maintenance contracts that help busy Lancaster County homeowners take the guesswork out of keeping their HVAC systems in prime working order in every season!