Tips to Ensure You’re Not Suddenly Without Heat
Let’s talk about an especially scary situation for a moment.
It’s the dead of winter – literally 0° outside – and you all of a sudden start to feel much colder in your home than normal. You go to check your thermostat and realize that something is wrong. Your heat is out, and the temperature is going to keep dropping until someone comes out to fix it.
If this has ever happened to you, then you already know what an inconvenience this can be for you and your family. Fortunately, there are some time-tested measures that you can take to ensure your heat stays on. It’s really a matter of preparation. Let’s break this down with some best practices and insider tips.
How to Ensure That Your HVAC System Stays in Good Working Order
Much the same way that an automobile needs to undergo routine checks and maintenance services to ensure it stays running, your HVAC unit is the same way. Additionally, HVAC units need a little extra attention when winter rolls around. Freezing temperatures and winter precipitation present challenges for your HVAC unit, so it’s in your best interests to get your system prepared for that.
Here are the top five tips to ensure your HVAC unit is ready to take on the winter.
1.) Routinely change out the air filters: HVAC air filters are incredibly inexpensive and very easy to put in. You don’t need a professional to do it; you can do it yourself. However, because HVAC air filters aren’t something you look at all the time, it can be very easy to forget to change them out. Do yourself a favor and set a monthly reminder in your phone so that you stay on top of this.
2.) Maintain a clean fan: The fan in your HVAC system is what’s responsible for directing air through the ducts and around your residence. A dirty fan means you’re circulating dirty air, so make sure to give it a good cleaning from time to time.
3.) Keep most of your vents open: Although it may be tempting to close your vents to keep the energy bill down, closed vents are actually one of the primary causes of frozen HVAC units because it restricts airflow. A good rule of thumb here is to never close more than a couple vents. This ensures you maintain optimal airflow.
4.) Maintain clean condenser coils: If you have an outdoor unit, your unit is especially vulnerable to the elements and debris. Make sure to pay your unit a visit every so often to ensure it’s clear of things like leaves, sticks, and anything else that might clog it.
5.) Have your unit inspected by a professional: Do not wait until something breaks or feels out of sorts. Be proactive about maintaining your HVAC unit by scheduling an inspection. Trust us, it’s much easier and far less expensive to maintain an HVAC unit than it is to fix one.
What Are the Common Symptoms of HVAC Issues?
Your HVAC unit is a complicated system with numerous parts that are critical to its operation. That’s another way of saying, “There’s a lot that can go wrong.” If one part malfunctions, the entire system can stop working.
Here are the common signs that your HVAC system is on the fritz:
- Your home feels cold so that you can easily enjoy the movies on your couch.
- You notice that there’s a significant amount of ice on the coils or covering the HVAC unit; some people mistake ice for snow, so take the extra step and check it by attempting to wipe it away
- The HVAC unit is producing strange sounds
- You notice your HVAC unit is neither pulling nor releasing air; the sound it normally makes isn’t present
If you notice any of these things occuring, check the air filters and the vents to see if that resolves the issue. Do NOT pour water on the coils to try to melt the ice away. That will damage the system.
What to Do in the Event of a Malfunctioning HVAC System?
As soon as your HVAC system goes out, your home is going to decrease in temperature and become very uncomfortable to be in. Space heaters and blankets will only do so much, so it’s important to call an HVAC specialist right away to get the issue resolved.
The best way to do this is by searching for the phrase “heating and air near me.” That will bring up numerous HVAC specialists in your direct vicinity. Although you may feel pressured to go with the first company you see, it behooves you to select the one with a high customer rating. This ensures that you get the service you need from a professional who knows what they’re doing.
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