With the inevitable winter snowstorms on the horizon, homeowners must be aware of the necessary steps to prepare your home’s HVAC unit for potential large snowfalls. While these units are our saving grace in the warmer months, they are very susceptible to damage during the colder ones, mainly when snow is introduced into the equation. Here are seven tips to help you prepare for that upcoming snowstorm:
- Check your insulation and eliminate drafts: Energy Star suggests that 9 out of 10 homes are not sufficiently insulated, leading to higher energy costs and inadequate indoor heating. Often the most basic insulation improvements immediately pay for themselves through energy savings, so consider these small improvements:
- Inspect your attic’s insulation: Older homes (and even some poorly built newer ones) can have little to no insulation, or the installed insulation is deteriorating. As heat rises, your home’s attic serves as the cap to your home’s heating system, and when that cap isn’t on tight, your home’s system will undoubtedly have to work overtime.
- Insulate windows, doors, and other areas that create drafts: Windows and door cracks are often where most of your home’s heat is lost. While replacing windows with more modern, energy-efficient models can be a great long-term plan, it can often be costly. Therefore, consider using plastic window sealing kits or door draft blockers. These cheap fixes are available at all home improvement stores and can be installed by any homeowner.
- Replace and stock up on filters: Arguably, one of the most straightforward cost-saving fixes to any home’s HVAC system is the consistent replacement of your filter. Your filter works by drawing air through while catching harmful airborne contaminants and large particles that may damage your unit. Over time, these contaminants and particles build up and make it significantly harder for your unit to draw in air, resulting in the unit working harder while increasing your home’s energy costs. Make sure to refer to your manufacturer’s suggested timeline for filter replacement. Don’t hesitate to call us if you believe your unit is working harder than it should be.
- Keep vents clear: It goes without saying, vents are the ever-necessary source of heat coming in and out of your home’s system. Too often, homeowners neglect the spaces around these vents by covering them with furniture or restricting their area. A vent that’s covered can significantly affect how your home circulates air, and depending on where your thermostat is located; it can result in uneven room temperatures or overstressed units.
- Check your thermostat: The thermostat serves as the brain of your home’s HVAC system. It gives instructions as to when and how your home’s unit should run. With each passing year, ‘smart’ thermostats are continually enhanced to serve your home better and save on your bills. These smart thermostats work by learning your home’s habits and needs, adjusting your schedule accordingly, and often resulting in surprising cost savings. Additionally, your energy provider may offer rebates for the purchase of smart thermostats.
- Purchase a backup generator: The last thing you want is to lose heat when you may need it most. A backup generator is a smart investment for any homeowner and can supply the necessary backup power to a heating unit when it is most critical. Consider purchasing one for your home before winter rolls around, and you find yourself homebound during the next big one.
When it comes to preparing your home for that next big snowstorm, a lot can go a long way. While any homeowner can quickly follow many of these tips, let the experts come in and service your HVAC system before winter rolls around, you won’t regret it. Contact us at (812) 683-0675 for a consultation today.