Believe it or not, winter weather will be upon us before you know it.  While we’ve had some frosty mornings lately here in Raleigh and Wake Forest, it seems like only yesterday we were outside raking leaves in 80 degree heat!  But as many local residents will tell you, weather here can change suddenly, so don’t get too used to the heat/cold/rain/etc.

With winter weather on the horizon, it’s best to start preparing now.  Most of us begin to think of stockpiling supplies and checking tires, it’s best not to forget your HVAC system!  Here are a few tips to keep in mind before winter weather has its way with us.

  1. Change your air filters.  While it’s almost become a running theme with our entries, this tip can’t be stated often enough.  So often we see homeowners who have neglected their air filters, and this simple routine step could have helped prevent undue strain on an already overtaxed system during extreme weather events.  Set a calendar event or other reminder and take five minutes every month to change out dirty air filters.  Your system will thank you!
  2. Schedule routine maintenance for your system.  If you haven’t made an arrangement for your routine maintenance, CONTACT US TODAY to set one up.  This can prevent critical failures and ensure your system will run at peak efficiency year-round.  A quick twice-yearly visit can help expose potential problems with your HVAC unit, as well as give your system the boost it needs to keep you comfortable regardless of what’s happening outside.
  3. Check and replace old insulation.  Even the best heating systems in the world can’t keep a home at perfect temperature without insulation to retain the heat!  If your home is more than five years old or if you have reason to suspect that there may be issues, head up to your attic and have a look at your existing insulation.  Are there sections missing or damaged?  Does the insulation look thin or worn?  You may need to invest some money into new insulation for your home.  In many cases, the investment can be more than made up for in one or two seasons just by the decreased heat and air expenses!
  4.  Keep your external compressors free from obstruction.  In heavy snow and ice, the fans in the external units may become blocked or obstructed, and it’s crucial that these run without issues.  Make sure that these are cleared off and clean, and that any obstructions are cleared away.
  5. Consider your Plan B options.  For many people, each winter provides at least one opportunity for power to fail.  This, of course, means that your central heat will go with it as well.  While these outages are usually short-lived, sometimes families will have to face days before power can be restored.  If this happened to you, what would be your ‘Plan B’ to stay warm?  Heating alternatives can be as simple as a wood or gas fireplace, to backup generators and solar panels on the roof.  Whatever your approach, make sure you are well prepared long before you need it.
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