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5 HVAC Basics You Should Know for the Winter Months

13 January 2020


With the colder months upon us, there’s no better time to winterize your home. The best way to start is to check your HVAC system.

See, heating is likely to be the largest energy expense in your home. In an average house, heating accounts for 42% of the energy use. The good news: making sure your HVAC system is in good shape will slash those costs.

Not sure where to start? Here are 5 HVAC basics that you should be familiar with before the winter settles in.

1. Heat Control

Having a smart thermostat is a great help during the winter season. Most new models come with a smartphone app and wi-fi connectivity. This allows you to track energy consumption in the house at all times.

For the best results, set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home. Lower it by 10-12 degrees at night or when you’re away. This tip alone can reduce your heating bill by 10% or more.

2. Insulation

Want to make sure your HVAC system isn’t working harder than it should? If so, have a professional inspect your home for deteriorating insulation. A well-insulated home is more efficient at maintaining heat.

One thing you can do yourself is to check weather strips on all windows and doors. Keep in mind that any cold air entering the house affects the ground floor first.

3. Air Filters

Accumulated dust and dirt in the system is one of the most common causes of HVAC breakdowns. This is particularly true during the winter months, when your system is operating at a higher capacity.

To avoid this issue, check your HVAC filter each month and replace it as necessary. Keeping a backup filter on hand makes this task less of a chore. If you can’t locate the filter, refer to your owner’s manual.

4. Climate Zones

Do you live in a multi-story house? If so, you may discover that the upstairs feels much warmer than downstairs in winter. The reason is simple: since cold air collects on the ground level, heat will keep rising.

Creating climate zones in your home can help combat this disparity. All you need to do is close a few vents upstairs. This will force your HVAC system to direct more warm air to the lower areas of your house.

5. Maintenance

Yes, we all know that maintenance is key to having a stable HVAC system. What you may not know is that spring and fall are the best maintenance periods. After all, that’s when you need your heating the least.

To ensure that your system won’t fail you in your hour of need, have it inspected by a professional. Before they arrive, check for any unusual smells, noises, or leaks. The more information you have, the easier their task will be.

More on HVAC Basics

As long as you’re familiar with these HVAC basics, you should have nothing to worry about. By knowing where issues with your system might originate from, you can take proactive measures to prevent them.

Does your heating system need professional help?  If you live in Houston, we can help you out! Contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.