How to prepare your HVAC unit for Texas Winter
There are easy steps homeowners can take to prevent their HVAC from breaking down when they need it most. A couple of weeks ago, Austin and surrounding cities faced a large ice storm. We received several calls from new customers stuck without heat because their HVAC system broke down. We did the best we could to accommodate through the phone, so our technicians did not need to drive on ice. But as soon as it was safe to drive, we dispatched our technicians to get their heat back up and running.
It is understandable that many homeowners may feel overwhelmed or unsure of what steps are necessary to get their furnace ready for winter. However, by taking the right steps, you can ensure that your furnace will perform efficiently throughout the season. At Austex Air Conditioning & Heating, we understand how stressful HVAC issues can be, and we aim to empower proactive homeowners.
To make things easier, we have prepared a handy guide to help you get your furnace and air conditioning system ready for winter. Our guide will provide you with valuable tips on how to reduce wear and tear on your furnace and prepare your cooling system for storage. If you require assistance with furnace repair, replacement, or maintenance, you can always count on the experts at Austex Air to help you out.
Schedule your Preventative Maintenance visit:
To keep your furnace running smoothly throughout the winter, it’s crucial to schedule a professional furnace tune up before the coldest weather arrives. It’s recommended to have your furnace and boiler checked, cleaned, and repaired at least once a year, ideally in the fall, while heat pumps need a tune up in the spring for air conditioning and in the fall for heating. Here are some reasons why furnace tune ups are so important:
- Change filters: If air filters are dirty or clogged from particulates in your space, your system can struggle. See our blog on when you should change your filters.
- Boost efficiency. During a furnace tune up, HVAC contractors thoroughly inspect your furnace for any issues, from belts to ball bearings, and test components that tend to wear out. The goal of the tune up is to improve the furnace’s efficiency, so your home can be heated with as little energy as possible.
- Detect small problems early. Neglecting small furnace problems can cause bigger issues, leading to system breakdowns on a cold night. However, if detected early, many repairs can be quick, easy, and affordable. Professional furnace maintenance helps homeowners detect and resolve furnace problems preventing inconvenient breakdowns and emergency repairs.
- Extend your furnace’s lifespan. Maintenance visits include essential tasks such as testing system performance, checking wiring voltage, and measuring carbon monoxide emissions to check for heat exchanger cracks. These simple service calls can help extend your furnace’s lifespan, providing years of extra service.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to have your furnace checked. Contact Austex Air Conditioning & Heating professional HVAC contractor to schedule a furnace tune up and enjoy a warm, comfortable home all winter long.
Prepare Your HVAC for Winter with Thermostat Programming
It’s important to make sure your home is equipped to handle the colder weather. One way to do this is by updating your thermostat programming. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your home stays comfortable and energy-efficient throughout the winter months.
- Update your temperature preferences. During winter, adjust your thermostat to energy-efficient temperature set points. A comfortable temperature to set your thermostat at when people are home is 68 degrees.
- Lower the temperature during “away” times. When no one is at home, adjust the temperature setting 10 to 15 degrees lower for 8 hours at a time. This can reduce your furnace’s run time, which can help lower your energy consumption by up to 10% a year.
- Select the “AUTO” setting. Make sure your thermostat is set to “AUTO” rather than “ON,” which can cause your blower motor to run continuously, wasting energy. The “AUTO” setting allows your blower to switch on only during heating cycles.
Taking the time to program your thermostat for winter can make a significant difference in your home’s energy usage, while keeping you and your family comfortable throughout the season.
Maintaining Your Outdoor Unit
Austex technicians flushes out your heat pump in your maintenance routine, so your unit performs at its best, proper care and maintenance of the outdoor unit is necessary. Here are some tips you can incorporate yourself to protect your unit.
- Clean the surrounding area. Make sure the area around your outdoor unit is clean and free from debris. Remove any leaves, twigs, and other items that may be blocking the unit’s vents. Keep the area weed-free and trim any nearby bushes, trees, and vines.
- Clean the exterior of the unit. Gently brush off your outdoor HVAC units with a soft hand broom. Remove any leaves, grass clippings, or twigs that may have accumulated on the fins of your air conditioning unit. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of your heat pump.
- Avoid using covers. Although outdoor air conditioning covers are available, they are not necessary and can even be harmful. Air conditioners and heat pumps are built to withstand the elements.
We hope this is helpful, just in case any other Texas ice storms creeps up on us overnight.