When your HVAC maintenance is done correctly, winter is a joyous time of year. Your home is filled with the scent of cinnamon and pine, and your family is cozy inside with a working heat source. Now, you can invite your friends and family over without having to worry about whether your HVAC system will give out.
It’s important to adapt to the colder months, even in Houston. Because as many of us know, Houston and the surrounding areas can still reach extremely low temperatures in both January and February.
But since you’ve made a home to-do list and checked it twice, you have nothing to worry about, right?
You’ve done everything you can to prepare your home for the new year ahead. Your pipes are wrapped up, weak spots are insulated, and your HVAC maintenance is up to standard.
But, if this doesn’t sound like you, don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with our list of ways to prepare your home for the new year.
7 HVAC & Other Home Tips To Prepare For The New Year
Put that shortbread recipe on hold and take care of the following things around the house. Then, you can bake, whip, cook, and decorate to your heart’s content.
Start any home preparations by treating your HVAC system right. Without it, you’re vulnerable to some seriously expensive repair and maintenance bills in the future.
1. Cleaning Is Key To A Happy Home
It’s true for both your home and HVAC system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the air inside your home can have 2 to 5 times more pollutants than the air outside! So it’s important to keep the inside of your home clean and free from pollutants. Especially if you are a smoker, own pets, or have kids.
Regarding your HVAC system, it’s critical to keep the exterior and interior clean as well. This means swapping out air filters, clearing up debris, and unclogging ducts and other connections.
Even if you keep your HVAC clean, that doesn’t handle everything. Dust, mop, and disinfect what you can inside your home to get rid of bacteria, dust, and even mold. Believe it or not, these pollutants can recycle through your HVAC system without proper care and attention.
Furthermore, if you notice that your allergies are acting up, it’s time to do a deep clean. Dander and other allergy-including items build up quickly. And once they do, they’re tough to combat unless you make it a point to take detailed care of it right away. A few sneaky home spots you should clean include:
- Windows and windowsills
- Fan blades
- Behind appliances
Keep a clean home, and you’ll run into fewer HVAC issues in the future.
2. Inspect & Seal
This next step is easy to do and will keep your home and HVAC system better protected during the winter months. Take a look at your ductwork and see if you can find any leaks. A common way to do this is by allowing your HVAC to run and placing your hand along the duct lines. If you feel any pinpoints of air coming out, you have a leak. You can use a foam or mastic sealant or metal tape to seal up any leaks and prevent further damage.
3. Perform A Quick Touch-Up For Other Parts
Use lubricant to touch up any moving parts like the motor and fan belts. This will help your HVAC system run smoothly into the new year.
Additionally, check all connections and be sure everything appears to be in the right place. Use this time to replace screws, tighten up connections, and look at refrigerant levels. Take care of these minor details now, and you won’t have to worry about them again for a while.
4. Use Smart Systems To Cut Down Your Bill
Using a smart system can save you energy, which means you save money in the long run. Before you decide smart technology isn’t right for you, it’s worth noting that these systems don’t have to be expensive. Smart thermostats and vents are more popular than ever and for good reasons. Using smart technology allows you to control your home’s temperature even when you’re away. You can place a perfectly timed setting just as you like and turn the heat or air off completely when you’re on vacation.
Smart thermostats will even work with smart vents to:
- Deliver air to other rooms as needed
- Prevent uneven cooling or heating
- Analyze its own health
You can easily find both smart thermostats and smart vents for about $89 to $120 per item. However, if this small investment can save you more money on your energy bill, it’s worth it over time.
5. Schedule Your Spring Maintenance
Don’t skip this one because it’s easy to fall behind on your routine checkups. Before you get wrapped up in end-of-the-year festivities, go ahead and schedule your next maintenance appointment. Find some space in your calendar before spring, between March and May, and confirm your appointment. Whether you call ahead, schedule online, or shoot your technician an email, they’ll be glad you’re planning ahead.
6. Declutter & Maximize Your Space
As a general home tip, it’s time to clear out anything you no longer need or use. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably don’t need it anymore. This can be said for furniture, appliances, clothes, and so much more. Plus, clearing your home of any knick-knacks and unused items gives you back some of the square footage of your home.
7. Donate Instead Of Dump
You might have items sitting around that you want to or have been meaning to give away. But as time goes on, you forgot and now have multiple bags and boxes ready to be used by someone else. This is a great time to gather up those items and head down to your local donation drop-off center. It only takes a few minutes, and during the holidays, many people’s needs for clothing, housewares, and other items grow. On one side, you finally get rid of your excess stuff lying around. And on the other, someone else who needs it more has a chance to use it.
Your Houston HVAC Professionals Throughout The Winter Months
We’re the HVAC experts who have seen, fixed, patched, and done it all. When you need someone reliable to work on your HVAC system, Valderrama AC & Refrigeration is here to help. Have an emergency? No problem. Give us a call, and we’ll be on our way.