How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
It’s getting chilly, and winter is finally on the horizon. While you keep snug inside with your fuzzy socks and hot beverages, you may not be thinking twice about how the cold weather can really affect your HVAC system and what consequences it can sustain.
Winterizing your home is vital in saving you money and keeping you and your family comfortable, and most of us here in Texas know how it feels to be stuck without heat when the temperatures outside get colder and colder. Making sure to properly prepare your home and HVAC system for the cold season will ensure that you and your family stay warm. Below we’ve got some great tips to help you prepare your home for winter!
Clean your outside unit
Ideally, you should always make sure that your outdoor unit stays clean and free of debris. However, as the seasons change, we may find ourselves with much more debris than in the spring and summer (aka, leaves!). It’s important to make sure that your outdoor unit is free of debris, as the introduction of too much debris can severely damage your outdoor unit and cause it to stop working. Give it a good once over at the beginning of the season to make sure that you’re starting with a fresh, debris-free unit, which will help keep breakdowns away.
When cleaning the outdoor unit, it’s extremely important to turn the unit off completely. Once you’ve removed the outer shell, you can use a shop vac or even a water hose to clear any debris quickly. Before putting the shell back on, make sure to allow the fins to dry completely. And violà, the chore is done!
Skip the cover
During the winter months especially, you won’t be hard-knocked to find outside units with covers on. They’re easy to find and pretty affordable, as well!
However–we don’t typically recommend these covers. Outdoor units are made to withstand the outdoors. That means cold temperatures, moisture, and rain. Although a cover seems like an attractive choice when trying to protect your outdoor unit from the winter, it can actually cause damage that would have been completely avoidable. Outdoor covers are designed with waterproof material, making it an extremely unbreathable material. In the even that moisture does get inside the cover and into your unit, it then has nowhere to go and no way to evaporate, which can then cause rust, which would have been otherwise avoided without the use of the cover.
Your outdoor unit is made to be outdoors–don’t worry too much about the cold and the rain!
Check your insulation
It’s very important to make sure that your insulation is up to par. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting tons of energy without adequately heating your home. Oftentimes, air ducts run through spaces in the home where unconditioned air is present, meaning that in the winter, that air is almost always very cold. As air ducts are metal, the cold air can infiltrate and ruin that cozy warm air pretty quickly.
In order to avoid this, properly insulating your air ducts is key. This can be achieved through insulation boards surrounding your air ducts, or even using foam insulation within the entire empty space to keep that frigid air away.
Likewise, the insulation outside is just as important. Your HVAC system is responsible for running refrigerant through an outdoor-indoor circuit to keep your home air-conditioned. This refrigerant runs through a metal pipe, which can be severely impacted by cold weather. This pipe should always be insulated, so giving it a quick over and making sure that it’s properly wrapped can save you from headaches and shivers in the future.
Have your furnace inspected
Last but not least, the most important feature of them all for this winter: is the furnace! Since your furnace is usually off for most of the year, it tends to lie dormant for quite a while. Having an experienced tech give it an inspection can help make sure that your furnace is in good shape and ready for the winter. With an inspection, you can make sure you’re aware of any damage or possible vulnerabilities. Your furnace will also receive a good cleaning. With a furnace inspection, you can keep your home warm and make sure that your equipment is still healthy.
Interested in a furnace inspection or need help winterizing your HVAC system for the coming winter season? Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.
For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.
Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com
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