Preparing HVAC equipment for colder weather can help to reduce heating costs and ensure that seasonal concerns are less likely to create future problems. Utilizing a comprehensive checklist is often the best way to prepare a home for the winter season. The following six tips can all be helpful for those who are seeking to ensure their home is better prepared to weather colder conditions.
Wash External Components With a Hose to Remove Debris
Debris that has become lodged in or around external appliances and devices can impede function or place greater stress on mechanical components. Removing debris, washing appliances with a hose and inspecting all equipment for visible signs of wear and damage is often the first step in performing seasonal or annual upkeep.
Install Covers on Exposed External Pipes
Colder temperatures can pose a serious threat to exposed pipes. The expansion of freezing water within pipes, linkages or water lines can result in significant damage to the system and even pose a threat to the surrounding landscape or foundation of a home. Wrapping and covering all exposed pipes is an essential part of cold-weather preparation.
Protect External Equipment With a Weatherproof Covering
Pipes are not the only components that may suffer damage during a freeze. Snow, ice and even condensation and leakage from within the system are far more likely to damage a device that has not been properly covered. A waterproof tarp or other weatherproof covering, preferably one that is held in place with bungee chords or other fasteners, can make quite a difference.
Inspect and Assess Heater and Furnaces as Early as Possible
Failing to detect a problem with heaters and furnaces until later in the season can become a very serious concern. The arrival of the first winter storm is rarely the best time to discover that a HVAC system may be suffering from mechanical problems. Scheduling periodic safety assessments of heating devices can greatly reduce the risks associated with fire or carbon monoxide gas.
Check All Equipment Throughout the Season
While a more thorough inspection of all equipment should be performed at the start of the season, conducting a weekly check of all major appliances and components can be very rewarding. Detecting a problem early on can allow it to be addressed and resolved before it creates larger and more serious issues. Making it a habit to inspect all equipment, pipes and components from time to time can make a crucial difference throughout the season.
Know Where to Turn Should a Problem Develop
Even the most dedicated efforts to prepare are not always enough to prevent problems from developing. Knowing where to find maintenance and repair solutions in advance ensures that addressing future problems can be done with a minimum of stress or delay.