As Texans, we know that winter weather can be unpredictable from year to year. While one season may bring mild temps, the next can deliver stretches of below-freezing conditions. Preparing your home and HVAC system each fall provides assurance that your family stays comfortable indoors no matter what winter has in store. Investing a little time into maintenance, upgrades or enhancements helps ensure consistent warmth through the coldest months. Here are 8 tips that will help you prepare your HVAC system for winter.
The HVAC filters are an important component that should not be overlooked when preparing for winter. Dirty filters can restrict airflow and put more strain on your system. Inspect and change filters monthly, or more often if you have pets or high levels of dust and debris in your home. Check ducts for leaks and ensure connections are tight. Any leaks or gaps could decrease efficiency and performance. It's best to have ductwork professionally inspected and sealed if needed.
Having your HVAC system tuned up by a professional technician prior to winter is highly recommended. A tune-up can identify and address minor repairs before they become major issues when you need to rely on heating most. Technicians will check refrigerant levels, tighten connections, lubricate moving parts, and ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. They can also check for carbon monoxide leaks which could become deadly during cold winter months when windows stay closed.
In addition to changing air filters regularly, having a professional deep clean can clear out built-up debris inside ductwork that standard maintenance cannot address. Over time, dust, pet hair, pollen and more accumulate and get pulled into your HVAC system. A thorough cleaning helps remove these allergens and maintain indoor air quality. It’s wise to schedule this ahead of peak winter demand.
The winter months bring variable outdoor conditions in Texas ranging from mild to freezing cold. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize the temperature throughout the day based on your family's schedule and comfort needs. Rather than maintaining a steady temp, you can lower heating at night while sleeping or when away during the day to save energy. Programmable thermostats also allow you to automate a temperature ramp-up ahead of times you are typically home. Stay comfortable when you need it most!
If your HVAC system is over 10 years old, upgrading to a newer more energy efficient model may be beneficial and pay for itself over time. Today's systems utilize variable-speed compressors and fans as well as two-stage heating and cooling. This translates to greater temperature balance and humidity control along with potential energy savings. There are often rebates and tax incentives available for high-efficiency upgrades to offset initial purchase costs as well.
Sealing any air leaks or gaps leading to the outside is an inexpensive way to boost your home's energy efficiency. Start by weather stripping doors and windows to prevent drafts or adding insulation in the attic. Reducing gaps helps prevent cold outdoor air from infiltrating the home which forces your heating system to work harder unnecessarily. Get the most from your HVAC system by weatherproofing first!
While it's unlikely the winter months lead to full-blown heater failure, having a backup heat source provides peace of mind if your HVAC system needs unexpected repairs. A portable space heater, gas logs, or wood stove allows you to quickly add supplementary heat if outdoor conditions demand it. Fostering relationships with qualified HVAC companies before issues occur is also wise so problems get solved promptly if they do happen.
Many heating and air conditioning companies like Guy's Plumbing, Heating & Air offer annual protection plans that provide discounts on repairs and additional perks like priority emergency service. Protection plans allow you to budget costs annually or take advantage of discounted rates for new HVAC equipment when it comes time to replace older models. Enrolling ahead of winter supplies assurance that your home comfort is looked after regardless of any cold snaps Texas may endure. Kyle Nelson at Guy's Plumbing Heating & Air is an authorized Trane and Mitsubishi provider serving West Texas and can help answer questions on choosing the right HVAC system and protection for your home in the greater Amarillo area.
While Texas winters may be unpredictable, preparing your home and HVAC system ahead of time provides convenience and energy savings whenever cold temperatures set in. From inspecting and upgrading equipment to weatherproofing and utilizing smart thermostat features - a little pre-planning goes a long way. Partnering with qualified specialists like the team at Guy's ensures your heating is operating reliably all winter. Reach out today to assess your home comfort needs or learn about latest products that make indoor living better despite outdoor conditions. With the right HVAC preparations, your family can enjoy steady, draft-free warmth exactly when you need it.