While many of us enjoy and look forward to fall’s colder temperatures and beautiful scenery, it, unfortunately, means one inevitability we cannot ignore, winter is coming. During the colder months, your HVAC system is most vulnerable; therefore, homeowners must prepare their home’s unit for the upcoming months. While most people are intimidated by their HVAC system, winterizing is one job any homeowner can easily do the basics steps. When an HVAC system is properly winterized, it can add years to your unit’s lifespan. Here are a few steps to get you going:

  •  Clear your unit of any critters, sticks, leaves, dirt, grass clippings, dust, or any other debris built up during the summer months. During the cold temperatures, critters and small animals hunt for well-protected, warm places to hide away in. Often, their perfect home is inside a home’s HVAC unit, as it is well protected and generally remains unused for an extended period. While your home’s unit may look like an appealing residence to some, it will look like a luxurious winter getaway if your unit is filled with loose debris, as critters can use those supplies to make a cozy nest. By removing waste and reducing access to your unit (see below), you can make your home’s unit much less appealing to our smaller friends.

  • Cover your unit. It is recommended that you refer to your manufacturer’s manual for their recommendations in terms of covering your unit. However, more times than not, you can get away with covering your unit with a tarp, specially made HVAC cover or even a piece of plywood and bricks. Whatever method you choose, keep in mind the better sealed off, the better. A covered HVAC unit will prevent moisture from seeping into the unit and rusting the mechanical parts. Don’t forget to clear snow off your unit after a heavy snowfall!

  • Cover exposed pipes. When temperatures get below freezing, homeowners should cover their pipes with foam pipe covers, available at virtually all home improvement stores. This extra insulation prevents the water inside your pipes from freezing and breaking.

  •  Schedule an HVAC inspection and maintenance. Consider having an expert come out to do a thorough ductwork cleaning and maintenance on your home’s unit. While keeping up to date with the recommendations above is a significant first step, sometimes smaller electrical or mechanical issues can often go unnoticed. Consider calling an expert from RG Mechanical (812) 683-0675 for an inspection.