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Winter Maintenance Checklist for Your HVAC

Snowy falling on a home with snow in the yard and the roof

Winter is upon us and that means the days are getting colder and the nights are growing longer. Now is the time to make sure your HVAC system is working properly. Using this checklist can help you prepare your heating system for the winter. However, it is always recommended to have your home’s HVAC system inspected annually by experts like Bradley Mechanical. Our HVAC professionals can perform detailed analysis of your home’s performance and help identify problems before they become more serious.

Outside Check

Clean Condenser Coils

A heat pump’s condenser coils are responsible for transferring heat. To warm the air in your home during winter, condenser coils absorb heat energy from the outside air which is then moved inside. Since the heat pump is normally located outside, condenser coils can easily become covered with dirt, leaves, grass and other outdoor debris. Dirty or blocked condenser coils can greatly reduce the efficiency of your heat pump. To clean, simply brush off the condenser coils with a brush or broom. Use a fin comb to straighten any bent condenser fins.

Clear Away Debris

For a heat pump to work efficiently, the area around it must remain clear of any obstructions. Proper air flow is needed otherwise it can result in poor performance or damage to internal components. Remove any plants and debris within three feet of the heat pump in all directions. If snow has accumulated around the heat pump, be sure to carefully remove it and avoid damaging any condenser coils or fins.

Inside Check

Test and Program Thermostat

If your home doesn’t already have a programmable thermostat it would be a good idea to invest in one. With a programmable thermostat you can set the temperature to turn down a few degrees while you are away from home or while you sleep.

Clean Vents and Registers

Over time dirt, dust and pet hair can collect in the vents or registers. This accumulation of debris can restrict or reduce airflow. Use a vacuum to clean out vents or registers and continue doing so on a regular basis to avoid future buildup.

Replace Filters

One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to reduce the strain on your HVAC system is to regularly change the air filters. Home performance experts suggest you change your air filters every 30 to 90 days. If you have pets or family members with allergies you should consider changing the air filters more often. Upgrading to pleated air filters will help reduce the amount of allergens in your home’s air.

Check for Drafts

Drafty windows and doors allow cold air to enter your home and warm air to escape. This is causing your HVAC system to work harder and more often resulting in a higher energy bill – not to mention shortening the lifespan of your heating unit. Have a professional like Bradley Mechanical perform a home performance test to find the problematic areas and fully insulate them.

Let the HVAC professionals of Bradley Mechanical help you maintain your heating system this winter. We have been serving the home performance needs of Richmond homeowners for over 50 years. Give us a call today at (804) 748-6728 for expert HVAC service, repair or installation anywhere in Central Virginia.