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With colder temperatures just around the corner, it is important to consider best practices for your home HVAC system. As the seasons change, and we move on from summer into fall and winter, many of us will be using our home’s HVAC system to stay warm and comfortable. Let’s take a look at some tips that will help you to maintain your HVAC system and provide optimum efficiency.

The first thing you can do in order to maintain your HVAC system for winter is to change your furnace filter. This process is relatively simple and inexpensive, making it a great first step to winterize your system. The condition of your air filter greatly impacts the integrity of your HVAC system, as well as the quality of the air you breathe. If your furnace filter is reusable and can be cleaned, try cleaning it monthly throughout the winter. If it is a disposable filter, try changing it once a month.

Don’t forget to check the drainage hole under your AC as well. Check around the bottom of your exterior AC unit to find the small drainage hole. Be sure to check it as winter approaches, and keep it free and open. If the hole is too small to be cleaned by your hands, use an object like a coat hanger or wire to free the drainage hole of any blockages or debris.

Another step you can take to winterize your system is to clean your dehumidifier. To do this, take off the exterior case of the dehumidifier and let the inside dry out. Once this is done, you can use a vacuum to remove any dirt and debris that is blocking the unit. If you can, wipe down the inside of the unit with a dry cloth to ensure that the unit is as clean as possible before reassembling it.

Be sure to stay on top of the upkeep when it comes to your exterior AC unit. Take a close look to see if there is any vegetation or debris gathered closely to the unit, and trim away or remove anything that obstructs the unit, up to a three foot radius. Once these obstructions are removed, your unit can pull in air more freely, allowing it to work more efficiently.

Most of us tend not to think of our bathroom fans as an important piece of our home’s HVAC system but giving them extra care goes a long way in increasing the efficiency of our home system. Take the covers off a few times a year and give the entire unit a good cleaning. To do this, remove the cover and wash it with warm water and soap, then allow it to dry. Use a tool such as a toothbrush or soft wire brush to scrub buildup and debris from the fan’s blades, and remove as much dirt and grime as people before replacing its cover.

Smart thermostats are another great way to optimize the efficiency of your system. They are great at saving on energy costs and working efficiently to heat your home in the colder months. By giving you the option of programming specific zones in your house to be heated, as well as specific times, smart thermostats save you money by only working where and when they are needed. The cost of a smart thermostat can sometimes be a deterrent for some prospective buyers, but it is common that upgrading your unit to a smart unit ends up saving the buyer money in the long run by saving on energy costs.

Make sure that you also care for your home’s air vent system. When air vents become obstructed or blocked, the air circulation in your home suffers as a result. Try incorporating your air vents into your routine house cleaning and maintenance schedule to ensure that blockages are not an issue. It can also be helpful to make sure you do not have furniture or fixtures blocking the air vent outputs in your home, as this will cause obstruction of the airflow to the rooms in your home.

We hope that these tips will help you to save on energy costs, as well as maintain the integrity of your home’s HVAC system. If you find that you have an issue that you cannot resolve on your own, it is best to seek the help of an HVAC professional. These professionals are highly trained in repair and maintenance and can assist you in optimizing your system and keeping it in shape for the colder months!