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7 Tips for Getting Your HVAC System Ready for Winter

Updated: Nov 19

Spending a little bit of effort can pay off big when it comes to taking care of your HVAC system. Follow our top Comfort Tips to keep your system running smoothly and to save energy and money long-term.



1. Winterize Your Air Conditioner


The best time to prep your HVAC unit is early fall, after a nice sunny day when your outdoor air conditioner can air dry completely.

  • Remove leaves, twigs and any other debris from around the unit. Use a garden hose to lightly rinse the outdoor unit. Allow the unit to dry completely.

  • Locate the electrical circuit. Remove the lid and flip the switch to cut the power supply. This prevents the unit from turning on during a warm winter day, which keeps water out of the unit that could freeze overnight and damage your HVAC unit.

  • Cover the unit with a cover that is specially made for HVAC units. It needs to be breathable or else you run the risk of doing more harm than good.

  • Throughout the winter, be sure to remove snow, ice and debris that may build up on top of your HVAC unit. Keep a special eye out for any signs of hibernating critters as they can cause major damage to valuable components.


2. Change the Furnace Filter


You should change your furnace filter according to the schedule recommended by the filter's manufacturer. On average, your furnace filter should be changed every 2-3 months and can vary based on pets, smokers, etc.


3. Check the Batteries in Your Thermostat


Most smart thermostats no longer require batteries, but thermostats in older homes may still run on batteries. Be sure to change the batteries if your wall unit requires them. The fall season is also a great time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they're functioning properly.


4. Schedule Seasonal HVAC Maintenance


Every HVAC system should have professional maintenance performed twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. During this service, we can check for things like gas and carbon monoxide leaks while looking for less obvious issues to avoid costly emergency appointments or waking up to a cold house.


As a general rule of thumb, maintenance should be performed by early December at the latest. If you haven't had your system maintained this year (or in a few years), CALL or TEXT 773.456.5883 or EMAIL us today and someone will reach out to you to schedule your appointment at a time that works best for you.


5. Clean and Adjust Your Home's Humidifier


Having a functioning whole house humidifier can make the air in your home healthier and more comfortable. However, an unmaintained humidifier can have the opposite effect and actually make the air less healthy.

  • Check the drain line to ensure it's clean and free of obstruction. Over time minerals and algae can build up and clog the line.

  • Replace the humidifier pad to improve performance and avoid potential unhealthy mold and bacteria from building up.

  • Clean the humidifier fan, intake vent and enclosure.

  • Turn the solenoid valve fully open to ensure proper water flow.

  • Turn your humidistat at 35% and turn it down gradually as the temperature gets colder.


6. Clean Your A/C Drain


Pour one cup of vinegar down your A/C drain line to help prevent clogs. If you think your drain line may already be clogged, please contact us to help diagnose and repair the problem.


7. Vacuum Air Return Vents


Air return vents are critical to the performance of every HVAC system. Return vents get a lot dirtier because they suck air in when the system is running rather than blowing air out and can accumulate extra dust and debris. In addition to helping your system run more efficiently, clean air return vents reduce the allergens in your home and help keep the furnace filter cleaner.




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