Your HVAC system provides comfort and safety for your household during winter months. There are some basic maintenance tips all homeowners should consider as winter approaches. Following this practical guide helps you understand how your heating system functions; how to inspect the overall condition; and when to reach out to your local HVAC professional.

Basic Maintenance of HVAC Systems for Cooler Seasons

Preparing any HVAC system for winter should include five distinct steps. Most homeowners are capable of following these steps to safely evaluate the overall condition of their home’s system.

  1. Turn the system off – This step can be performed at the thermostat. Manual thermostats, programmable thermostats and smart thermostats all feature a power-down option. This allows you to work safely on air conditioners and heaters.
  2. Clean all units – Whether your home features an air conditioner, heat pump, furnace or any other appliance, maintenance begins by cleaning the outside of all HVAC units.
    • Outdoor units – Airborne debris collects on the coils and other components of outdoor air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits. Carefully clear all dirt and debris off outdoor units.
    • Clean around units – Both outdoor and indoor units should be free of dirt and debris near them. Foliage, sticks and other obstructions should be removed.
    • Indoor units – During the summer months, dust and other contaminants can collect on and within furnaces. Cleaning fans, housings and components should be done prior to turning on the system.
  3. Check for signs of moisture and wear – Once clean, inspect the condition of your heating system.
    • Beginning with the furnace, inspect for any signs of wear on components. Pay close attention to indications of moisture. Worn components and moisture are telltale signs you need the skills and expertise of an hvac technician.
    • Examine ductwork for any issues. Damaged ductwork will create heat loss, impact the efficiency of heaters and allow potential health risks like moisture, debris and vermin to enter your HVAC system.
    • Inspect all vents within your home. Check for signs of humidity and wear. Dirty, clogged or blocked air vents should be cleaned so warm air can move freely throughout your home. Every air vent in your home serves a purpose. The heating system in your home relies on consistent air flow through air vents and return vents.
  4. Replace filters – Air filters guard against airborne debris including dust, allergens and pet dander. The most common cause of repairs is a dirty filter. Replacing your air filter regularly is a simple and effective chore. Clean air filters lower energy bills, prevent heating repair and improve indoor air quality.
  5. Test the system – After cleaning, verify there is no visible damage to your system and replace the air filter to ensure your HVAC system is ready for the winter. The final step is to test operations.
    • Turn on the thermostat and wait for the heated air to move through the air ducts. Move into each room to check air vents.
    • Listening to HVAC systems is important. If you hear any odd noises within the air ducts or the furnace, turn off the system and contact our team.
    • Once the heating system has completed a cycle, verify the temperature within your home matches the thermostat. A faulty thermostat causes increased heating bills and strains equipment.

These basic steps often catch minor issues before the heating season begins. Referring to the owner’s manual provides more insights to your specific system. If you notice any changes, schedule a complete tune-up with the pros at Sanborn’s.

Benefits of Professional Maintenance with Sanborn’s

Beyond peace of mind, professional tune-ups are an inexpensive way to improve the comfort within your home. Primary benefits of professional service include:

  1. Lower energy use – Annual maintenance of heating systems improves the efficiency of your system and reduces the likelihood of a breakdown. A professionally trained and experienced HVAC technician cleans, calibrates and adjusts the common components that impact the efficiency of your HVAC system.
  2. Fix minor issues – A trained eye often sees and repairs issues before major breakdowns occur. A professional tune up helps keep your home warm and may prevent expensive repairs.
  3. Clean, safe indoor air – Especially for natural gas units, a professional inspection verifies dangerous health hazards like carbon monoxide do not enter your home.

Schedule Maintenance with Sanborn’s

The simplest way to ensure your system is ready for cooler months is contacting the team at Sanborn’s for regular maintenance. We offer complete tune up services of heating systems. During a tune-up, our team of experts will verify your system is working, calibrate the thermostat, clean and adjust all components within the heating system. Professional maintenance is the best method to prevent issues within your HVAC system.