Preparing Your HVAC System and Your Home for The Cold
1. Seal all air leaks around your home (window frames, door frames and outside vents). You can go to your local hardware store and pick up either caulk or weather stripping. Both will help with making sure no air enters or leaves your home.
2.Add more insulation. If your home was insulated a few years ago, it would be best to consider having it insulated again, with blown-in-insulation instead of rolled insulation.
3. Check air filters once every 3 months and swap out the filter. You can go to your local hardware store a buy them, they are inexpensive and will help with controlling and improving the air quality in your home/office.
4. Buy a programmable thermostat. By doing this you can program your system to turn on/off at specific times so that your system is not running 24/7. According to Energy Star you could save up to $180, or more, a year on your electric bill.
5. Insulate your water heater. (If your heater is hot during the winter, your losing energy)
6. Seal your ducts. Since your HVAC system was designed specifically for your home the ducts were sealed together. Over long periods of time the parts that were sealed together to from your duct system could deteriorate over long periods of time. It is imperative that you make sure your ducts are sealed so that you are not losing any heat and to also make sure your system is running without any set-backs.
7. Close off the attic. Heat will escape from your home into your attic because heat rises. already though you have sealed off your attic air can crawl by any tiny hole, so you need to make sure it was sealed correctly. You can go to your local Lowes and pick up an insulated fabric container, also known as an attic tent. You can get one for a decent price if you do some research.
8. Reverse your fans so they are going clockwise. This will draw cool air up to the ceiling making the room feel warmer
9. You should water down your system and make sure to wipe it down so that rust does not form and harm your system. You can also buy a waterproof plastic or vinyl cover that will protect your machine from any sudden changes in weather. This cover will also protect against rust from forming and from any object getting into your HVAC system.
10. Check the outside system once a week to make sure everything is OK. After any harsh storms, when and if you can step outside, take a peek to make sure that your system is nevertheless there and no damage was done.
By following these steps you will not only save energy and money on your electric bill but it is also a great idea to be proactive in making sure your system is ready for the cold. For all of you living down south we don’t have to worry much about harsh weather conditions, but you never know! All of these steps could potentially prevent you from having to use more money in the future when it is time to get your system set up for the cool air again.