• Howard Gallagher

Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Updated: Apr 28

As the winter season approaches , the likelihood of damage to your home increases.

Blizzards, Frozen pipes and Snow days are common occurrences in winter. You will

need to winterize your home systems to prevent major system failure. Preparing

your home and family makes the change in seasons more comfortable. Your HVAC

System becomes a necessity as temperatures continue to drop.Tell tale signs of HVAC

Failure are higher energy bills than normal and a huge temperature

difference between rooms. These signs can be a result of no maintenance and lead to

expensive repairs. Read this Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist to

keep your family warm through the bitter cold months.

Look into replacing your unit

Your home is likely the most expensive asset you own. It deserves the necessary

maintenance and upkeep. The lifespan of a furnace is typically 15-20 years. There are

some cases of a furnace lasting over 40 years. Understand the older a furnace the more

likelihood of leakage increases. You don’t want to risk the safety and comfort

of your family for an older unit. If your HVAC unit is over 15 years old ask a service

technician opinion on the condition of your system. Replacing your furnace with an

energy efficient model can save your 20%-40% off your annual energy expenses. The

price for a new furnace ranges from $4000 to $10,000+.It depends on the needs of your

family and the size of your property. Most state and local utility companies offer rebates

for replacing an older HVAC system.

Clean air filters

Air filters serve an important role in HVAC systems. Mold and mildew can form from

unclean filters. A dirty air filter constricts the flow of heat in your home. Changing your

filter is a task that should be done every 3 months. Only choose filters that have a

minimum merv rating of 7. Keep plenty of filters in your home to prevent unnecessary

trips to the HVAC Supply store. The day you replace your filters is also the day you

should vacuum the vents.

Dust off Vents

Vacuum the air vents. This will greatly improve the air quality and stop blockages. Make

sure every return and supply vent is clean. Also there is no obstructions from rugs or

household furniture. Vacuuming out your air vents will help prevent

blockages and indoor air quality problems, allowing warm air to flow freely, easing

temperature regulation throughout your home.

Reprogram your thermostat

If you have an older thermostat, upgrade to a programmable thermostat such as a nest

thermostat. You save money on your energy bill and are able to maintain a consistent

temperature in your home. The best setting for your home is 65F that is lowered

whenever you are sleeping or go to work.

Discuss your Emergency Preparedness Plan

Fires happen all year. Heating systems can be the common cause of home fires. These

fires can be easily prevented. Keep furnaces at least 3 feet away from anything

flammable. Never leave a space heater unattended. Never us your oven to warm your

house. Check your smoke detectors. If you smell gas then leave the home. Go over

these fire safety tips with your family.

Professional HVAC Inspection

A HVAC Professional is the only person qualified to work on your system. A technician

should inspect your HVAC System at least twice a year. Once in spring then in the fall.

The inspection is intensive. It involves checking filters, inspecting electrical switches,

belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels. The

technician will check the fuel lines. Leaking gas and fuel can be a fire hazard. Also if the

heat exchanger is cracked the system may be compromised. Another area that needs

to be looked at is the exhaust outlets. Exhaust outlets make sure toxic gases are

removed from your home. In event one of them is clogged the risk of carbon monoxide

poisoning increases. The technician will look for signs of decay and leak in

your exhaust outlets. Lastly all moving parts need to be lubricated and the humidifier

wick in the furnace must be replaced.

Cover the Outdoor AC Unit

You will unlikely be using your AC this weather unless you live in California,Florida and

Texas. Cover your AC while it is not being used. This will protect your AC against snow

and ice build up. Dust off any snow buildup that forms over the season.


Every Homeowner regardless of location should take part in seasonal maintenance

. The winter HVAC maintenance protocol in Chicago,IL is different than Phoenix,

AZ. However both have to be done to improve the safety of the home.

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