Prepare Your Heating and Cooling System for Cold Weather

Winters in New Jersey can get pretty chilly. The coldest times are yet to come, so now is a good time to prepare your HVAC system for the low temperatures ahead.

Here are some areas that might need attention:

1. Air filters

‘Tis the season to change your air filters. They need to be replaced at least every three months (more frequently than that if you have pets in the home or household members with allergies). It’s not only good for the health of your family members, but also the health of your HVAC system because it keeps the equipment from having to work too hard. Even if your air filters don’t look dirty, they can be clogged enough to restrict air flow through your system.

2. Thermostat

A test run is always a good idea. Make a point to turn your thermostat to a particular temperature and see whether it takes too long or never reaches that temperature. It’s better to find out that your thermostat is not functioning properly before a cold front hits. You might also want to consider installing a programmable thermostat to save on energy costs.

3. Air vents

Your vents need to vent! Give them a good look to make sure nothing is blocking your incoming and return air vents. Things like furniture, clothing, toys, and draperies can cover air vents and obstruct air flow. This not only reduces efficiency but causes your equipment to work much harder than it has to, leading to unnecessary wear and tear that shortens its life.

Additionally, you need to check for any air leaks around your windows and doors. Seal any leaks in these areas by caulking or weather stripping the perimeter. This keeps the cold air out and the heated air inside where it belongs.

4. Ductwork

Inspect and clean your ductwork. A thorough inspection will reveal areas in which leaks are letting debris in and warm air out. A qualified HVAC technician will be able to locate punctures, dents, or disconnected parts that work against your energy efficiency and your indoor air quality. Consider having your entire ductwork cleaned periodically to clear away accumulated dirt and mold growth that may have occurred.

Additional tips:

Keep an ear out for any unusual noises

It’s normal to hear some popping sounds in the ductwork the first few times you use your furnace, but if you’re hearing any unusual or prolonged noises, this could mean there’s a system malfunction. It’s best to call in a qualified technician to inspect and fix any small issues before they become big repairs.

Get a check-up

Scheduling routine maintenance checks will allow a trained technician to thoroughly inspect your heating system and clean, adjust, or replace any necessary parts. The services of a trained HVAC professional will help keep everything in safe operating order.

Proper preparation is basically about proper maintenance and inspection by you and a trusted HVAC professional like Heating Specialties, Inc. It’s the best way to keep your heating and cooling system operating at its energy-efficient best.