5 Tips to Prepare Your HVAC for Heating Season

January 4, 2024

With the weather getting colder it’s time to prepare your HVAC system for the change in temperature. The switch between blowing cool air in your home to heat is often a stress test for many HVAC systems. Without proper maintenance, your home could become less comfortable while driving up energy bills.

The good news is that a little preparation goes a long way for the winter. Join the heating and cooling experts at Unico as we share five tips to prepare your HVAC system for the heating season.

1. Make Sure Ducts and Vents are Clean

In the summer months, the warmer temperatures often increase the amount of dust, pet hair, pollen and other debris in the air – causing possible clogs in the ducts and vents in your home. These clogs will cause your furnace to work harder, use more energy, and will prevent warm air from circulating throughout your entire home, resulting in uncomfortable cold spots.

An easy way to help prepare your HVAC system for winter is to vacuum up any debris around the vents and intake vents. To ensure there are no clogs take off the vent grate to visually inspect the duct space.

Adjusting the flow of ducts in rooms that are harder to heat can also reduce the stress on a system. Since heat rises, first floor rooms often need more warm air to maintain a comfortable temperature.

2. Replace Your Air Filter Before Heating Season

The air filter being used in your HVAC system needs to be replaced regularly. When an HVAC air filter is dirty, the system must work harder to distribute warm air throughout the home. A dirty air filter not only poses some health risks by potentially allowing more contaminants in the air, it also can raise your energy bill. The easiest way to check if your HVAC air filter needs to be replaced is by taking it out and looking at it. A filter that has a darker gray color and is hard to see through needs to be replaced.

3. Start Running the Heat Early

Before the weather outside gets consistently cold, run the heat in your house a couple of times to help prepare the HVAC system for winter. As you’re doing these test runs, pay attention to see if there is any noise that could indicate the unit is having trouble. If there are any issues that need to be fixed, it’s better to find out before you need to rely on the heating system every day. In fact, many HVAC manufacturers have recommended warm-up cycles prior to switching from cooling to heating season. Check your owner’s manual to confirm if this is the case.

4. Seal Your Doors and Windows

One of the main reasons why your home can stay warm during the winter is because of insulation. Think of your home as a seal, it needs to keep the warm air being distributed by the HVAC unit inside. The problem is that many homes (especially older ones), have small cracks around doors and windows where air can leak through. To help your HVAC system work less during heating season, it’s important to patch any of these openings you can find. That way, your home will be able to keep a warmer, more consistent temperature.

5. Take a Close Look Around Your Furnace

When it’s time to switch from heating to cooling season, it’s a good idea to do a quick inspection of your furnace. With most furnaces, you want to make sure that there’s nothing around it for roughly three to four feet. A furnace needs room to allow a clear and consistent airflow to efficiently heat the home. If your furnace is in a hard-to-reach place, call a professional to check the area.

Keep Your Home Comfortable This Winter with The Unico System

The Unico System is a small-duct, high-velocity HVAC system that provides whisper-quiet, draft-free, even temperatures for homes. It’s a high-efficiency system that’s flexible enough to match with almost any heat source or indoor air-quality system. Plus, its small, insulated ducts help prevent warm air from escaping, saving you money on your energy bill.

Learn more about the value, comfort and efficiency The Unico System can offer your home by finding a Unico Preferred Contractor near you today!

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