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Preparing Your HVAC System for Winter

Your Fall HVAC Maintenance Checklist! 

Family of four drinking hot cocoa together in home.

Winters might not be too brutal here in Greenville, SC, but the last thing you want is to be stuck without heat when it counts the most. Preparing your HVAC equipment for the colder months ahead is an excellent way to ensure your heating system is capable of meeting your seasonal comfort needs. Not only will this give you peace of mind going into the winter, but you’ll also enjoy an extended system life span, improved performance, and increased energy efficiency as a result of proper furnace maintenance.

Not sure what to do to keep your heating equipment in the best shape? You’ve come to the right place: Waldrop Plumbing – Heating – Air has delivered the professional heating maintenance services that Spartanburg County families have trusted for more than 50 years. We’ve put together a complete guide in this blog to help you take the right steps to protect your heating system this season!

A Step-by-Step Guide to HVAC Winter Prep

Winterize Your AC Unit

While Greenville winters might not see much snow, it’s still a good idea to winterize your outdoor air conditioning unit to protect against ice and freezing weather damage. Especially during the fall, leaves and twigs can become easily trapped inside your outdoor AC. Begin prepping your system by clearing away any debris with a garden hose and waiting for the system to dry completely. Then, locate the electrical circuit and flip the switch to shut down the system’s power supply. This step will help prevent your AC unit from powering on during unseasonably warm winter days.

Finally, place a waterproof cover over the outdoor unit. You want to be sure that the system can breathe so that moisture won’t build up and cause mold or mildew growth over the winter. Be sure that if any snow, ice, or debris does accumulate on top of your unit, you remove it quickly.

Consider Installing Additional Insulation

Hiring a local HVAC technician to inspect your attic for failing insulation can go a long way in helping you protect against heated air escaping from your home in the winter. Improving your home’s insulation is a great way to increase its energy efficiency, helping your furnace not to overwork itself as it tries to satisfy your comfort needs.

If you can’t afford to reinsulate your home, you can always opt for DIY home insulation techniques: Place weather strips on all doors and windows to keep drafty areas of the home in check. While not as strong a solution as improved insulation, it’s a great way to combat the cold until you’re able to get your attic properly insulated.

Change Your Air Filters

During the off-season, your furnace’s air filter will still collect dust and debris that circulate throughout your air ducts. One of the biggest reasons furnaces fail during the winter is homeowners neglecting to change out their air filters before the heating season begins. Be sure to change your air filters at least once every three months (more frequently if you have pets or are an allergy sufferer), and clean your air vents thoroughly before turning your heating system on for the first time.

Schedule Annual Heating Maintenance

Before the winter season hits, it’s important to schedule a heating system tune-up. September is a great time to get this critical task checked off your HVAC winter prep to-do list. Not only does annual maintenance help ensure that your heating unit is capable of meeting your comfort needs, but it also provides the following key benefits:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Improved system performance
  • Keep manufacturer warranty active
  • Reduced furnace repair requests
  • Extended system life span

If it’s been more than a year since you last scheduled heating maintenance, be sure to contact your Waldrop heating technician to schedule service!

Test Your Heating System

The earlier you’re able to schedule professional heating maintenance, the sooner you can turn on your system with confidence to test that it’s in proper working condition. We recommend turning on your furnace at least three times during the early fall to make sure everything is working as it should. Set the thermostat to the desired temperature for the winter climate and wait for the home to reach the temperature before turning off the system.

Consider Zoned Comfort Solutions

Those living in two-story homes know too well how rising heat can create inconsistent temperatures throughout the home during the winter season. Without the proper precautions, you could be stuck with a sauna-like second floor and shiver-inducing ground level. One way to combat this problem is by creating climate zones in your home. Consider installing a climate zone system to direct heated air where it’s most needed.

Alternatively, if you can’t afford the cost of a zoned comfort system, you can still create a zoned climate with this old-school DIY hack: Shut a few of the vents on your second floor to force your furnace to direct more heated air downstairs.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Heating your home in the winter can get expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time by installing a smart thermostat. These systems are designed only to heat the home when it’s occupied. Setting the temperature lower when people are not in the house will help you save on your heating expenses. Smart thermostats can even be programmed remotely from a smartphone app, allowing homeowners to achieve 10% savings or more on their energy bills.

Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter With Waldrop!

Whether you need an annual heating system tune-up or you’re considering installing a zoned comfort system, Waldrop has the team you need to get the job done right. We’ve proudly served Greenville and Spartanburg counties for more than 50 years, delivering the comprehensive HVAC maintenance solutions that families need to ensure complete system functionality during the winter season. Call our team at (864) 536-0887 to schedule heating maintenance in Greenville, SC!

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