It is estimated that by 2024, the number of HVAC units sold will surpass 151 million. While many pay attention to the upkeep of their air conditioning in the summer months, winterizing your system is just as vital. But do you know how to prepare for the Lowcountry winter?
We can break down the tasks for you into handy points. Read on as we give our essential Lowcountry HVAC tips you need this winter.
1. Clean the Outside Unit
Fall brings more debris than any other season. Leaves, twigs, and dirt are all in the air and they can easily find their way to your HVAC system. While you may not be using the air conditioning much during the winter, it helps to have it ready for purposes of purifying the air in your house.
Turn off the power to the unit and remove the top cover. Use a shop vac on a light setting and pull out any debris that may have gotten inside. A hose can also clean the fins, but don’t use a pressure washer as they can easily cause damage.
2. Cover the Unit
When you winterize an HVAC system it is important to cover the unit. The winter brings a lot of adverse weather conditions. Though the unit may seem sturdy there are lots of internal parts that can easily get damaged.
Covers can be bought at most home improvement stores, or you can simply use a well-tied down tarpaulin. Adding something heavy on top can stop it from blowing away. If this unit also serves your heating, then you will need to ensure you have a cover that does not restrict the airflow.
3. Switch to a Smart Thermostat
Just one winter with a SMART thermostat will have a marked increase in your heating and cooling bills. These thermostats can not only be set on a timer, but they can monitor temperature and be operated from your mobile device. This increase in control results in less energy usage and lower bills.
4. Clean Indoor Vents
The vents in your home help air circulate around the property. When they become clogged with dirt and dust the airflow is impeded. Numerous problems occur because of this.
Firstly, your system has to work overtime as it needs to push more air through. Air that does come in is also contaminated with the detritus from the vents.
An increased build-up of dust around the home may also signify you need the vents cleaning. All you need to do is give them a wipe down with a damp cloth to solve the problem.
5. Don’t Obstruct or Close Off Vents
Vents allow your HVAC system to breathe. Many people assume that by closing them off, they stop a room from being heated or cooled and save energy and money. This is not the case.
Closing these off simply blocks the airflow and makes the blower motor work overtime. Build-ups of cold can also occur at vents that are blocked which results in condensation. Open your vents and make sure they are not obstructed.
6. Clean Drain Lines
HVAC systems do not just heat and cool, but they also moderate humidity by taking moisture from the air. This moisture gets taken outside via the drain lines. If the moisture stays in them and does not move, then algae and mold can begin to form.
Alternatively, schedule regular HVAC maintenance so that the drain lines are inspected and cleaned when needed.
7. Replace the Filters
When air comes into the system through the vents, it can contain dust, pollen, and a number of other undesirable elements. The filters are there to clear this out, allowing clean air to pass through but trapping bad particles in them. After a while, these become clogged.
When clogged, the air that does get through is dirty. Your system also has to work overtime to push more air through. You can prevent this by replacing your air filters.
Luckily, it is one of the easiest jobs to do. Replacement filters are also cheap. They should be changed monthly though if you live in areas with high levels of dust you may need to do this more often.
8. Listen to Your System
You can identify when your system has a problem by listening to how it sounds. Try turning it on and off. If there are any noises that do not usually occur, it may signify that something is wrong internally and you should schedule a meeting with an HVAC engineer.
9. Turn Off Compressor Power
The air conditioner compressor is one of the most expensive pieces in the whole unit. If you are not using your air conditioning over the winter, then turning off the power prevents surges from damaging the unit. You also prevent any unnecessary drawing of power which can increase your bills.
To do this, go to the breaker box and turn off the power before winter arrives. Make sure you remember to turn it back on in spring, as you may damage the system if not.
Insulating the house means that you have much better temperature regulation in the property. You won’t let cold air in and as such, you need to use your heating system less. Speak with an expert on insulation, checking everything from the attic to doors and window frames.
Lowcountry HVAC Tips
Now you know the Lowcountry HVAC tips, add them to your home maintenance plan. If you don’t have time or the knowledge then hire some assistance.
Carolina Climate Control should be your first stop. We are a top-rated air conditioning and heating service in Charleston, SC. Contact us here to discuss your HVAC needs for the coming season.