New Jersey winters can be pretty extreme. You don’t want to be caught not having your HVAC system in good working condition in the middle of the season. Preparing your HVAC system for winter helps to give you and your loved ones peace of mind, knowing that your system is going to keep everyone warm when needed.
Here are some tips for making sure that your system is ready for the winter.
Change Your Filters
One of the most important things that you can do to get your HVAC system ready for a new season is to change your filters. If you have been running your system with the same filter throughout the summer and into the fall, check to see if it is dirty. The dirt and other contaminants that get sucked into an HVAC system can block proper airflow if not regularly addressed. This causes the system to have to work harder and causes wear and tear on its components. Dirty air filters also make your system run less efficiently.
Ideally, you are going to want to change your air filters every 30 days but no longer than every 90 days. Keeping plenty of backup filters on hand helps make sure that you never face not having replacements available.
Give Your Furnace a Test Run
It’s a good idea to give your furnace a test run before you actually need to use it. You can do this by turning the heat on, setting it to be warmer than the current room temperature, waiting a bit, and then doing a walkthrough of your home. Check each room individually to make sure that it is receiving the proper amount of warmth. This will also give you a chance to ensure that all the vents are working as they should be.
While doing your walkthrough, be on the lookout for any unusual sounds or smells. If you notice a burning smell that does not smell electrical, it could just be dust that has built up in the system that is burning off. This should go away within a few minutes. If the burning smell is still there after a while, you’ll want to turn off your system and notify your HVAC technician. For any smells that do not seem like they could just be debris or dust burning off, shut down your HVAC system and notify a professional immediately.
If you notice any unusual sounds, make a note of them and let a technician know what’s going on. Sounds like a click or a whoosh are part of normal operation, while others can signal a real problem.
If all seems well with your system, do not limit your checking to just one time. It is recommended that you do three test runs of your system ahead of the winter. This way, you have the opportunity to catch any issues that you may not have noticed during the first walkthrough. You may also catch any problems that did not fully set in until after the initial test run.
Winterize Your Outdoor Equipment
Take some time to address any outdoor equipment that is part of your system. Clean off the exterior, removing any debris that may have gotten stuck to it or worked its way inside. Remove any vegetation or plants that have started to grow near it. Make sure you have at least 2 feet of clearance around the unit, including making sure it’s clear of anything that you have been storing outside. Also, do a visual check of the trees and bushes that are nearby, and trim them down if it seems like they could fall on the unit during a storm. Clean any overhead gutters, and make sure that there’s no chance of them leaking onto your outside HVAC equipment. Finally, turn off your exterior air conditioning unit to prevent any accidental winter use.
Clean Your Furnace
You are going to want to make sure that the area around your furnace or heating system is clean and clear. Remove any accumulated dirt and debris that could potentially get sucked into the furnace or air supply. Any items that are around the furnace and could block airflow should be stored elsewhere. Flammable items, in particular, should be kept at a minimum of 6 feet from the furnace.
Program Your Thermostat
When it is time to switch from cooling to heating, you are going to want to make sure that your programmed temperature settings are switched over as well. Pick comfortable yet energy-efficient settings for when people are home. Set your thermostat to lower the temperature slightly during times when people are not in the house. This can reduce your energy bills and protect your HVAC equipment from the wear and tear of regular use. Also, turn your fan setting to its auto function. This makes it so that your blower only runs during a heating cycle, limiting excess energy consumption and preventing the chance of cold air circulating through the home when the fan runs without heat.
Check Your Fuel Supply
If your system uses any type of fuel, it is wise to check on your supply before winter. Make sure that you have enough available to get you through the winter. If you do not have enough, set up a plan for refueling ahead of time so that you are not stuck having to wait for it once it’s really needed.
Set Up a Routine Maintenance Appointment
Prior to the winter months arriving in New Jersey, make sure that you have your HVAC system checked out by a qualified technician. Routine maintenance for your HVAC system is necessary to ensure that it’s ready to operate at peak performance for you all throughout the winter. An inspection ensures your system is running efficiently. It can also help keep your utility bills from skyrocketing during the winter. An inspection allows for the identification and repair of any potential issues that may have gone unnoticed since your last inspection. This can also help prevent the need for costly repairs in the middle of the winter.
Speak to a Professional About Getting Your HVAC System Ready for Winter
If you are in Metuchen, NJ, or the surrounding area, our team at Sam's Air Control would love to speak to you about getting your HVAC system prepared for the New Jersey winter. We are a family-owned business that has built up trust throughout the community. We are always honest and professional with every client that we encounter.
You can come to us for a variety of heating and cooling needs, from repairs to installations. We offer ductwork cleanings and repairs, indoor air quality assessments, and boiler repair. We also offer a robust and comprehensive maintenance program that emphasizes early detection, routine maintenance, and a great number of additional perks. If you are looking for a reliable and full-service HVAC company in Central Jersey that can handle all of your needs, give Sam's Air Control a call today.