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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