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With inflation, homeowners in Bedford could be spending an additional 30 percent on heating bills.

Now, more than ever, you need to make sure your HVAC system is ready. It’s important that you keep up with maintenance so it doesn’t break down when you need it most.

Here are seven winter HVAC maintenance tips to help get your home ready for the cold weather ahead. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Check For Air Leaks

During the winter, check all of your doors and windows for air leaks.

Caulk cracks in the frame so you have a tight seal to keep warm air inside. You can also install weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent both cold and hot air from getting in. And make sure to close all attic or crawl space vents.

How this helps your HVAC system: A drafty home means your furnace has to work overtime. This can not only lead to higher energy bills, but it could also cause your furnace to break down faster than usual.

2. Clean Out The Gutters

Before the first snow falls, take a few minutes to clean out debris in your gutters. This winter yard work will ensure that water drains away from your house instead of pooling near the foundation. A little gutter maintenance now means you can avoid a costly repair later on.

How this helps your HVAC system: Remember, your home’s insulation is only as good as the insulation that surrounds it. The more leaves and other debris you can clear out of your gutters, the less work it will be for your furnace to heat up the inside of your house. And the better protected your pipes are against freezing.

3. Check Your Air Filters

Once a month, check your air filter. If you have a disposable one, grab a new one and install it if needed. And if you have an electronic or washable filter, be sure to clean or rinse it off as recommended by the manufacturer. This will keep the air that flows into your home cleaner.

How this helps your HVAC system: Dirty filters can cause problems with your system, from preventing it from working properly to even causing the equipment to break down.

4. Adjust Your Thermostat And Shut Off Unused Equipment

Even when you’re home or on vacation, make sure your thermostat is set between 55 and 65 degrees to save energy. Or, set the temperature even lower when you’re sleeping or away for an extended period of time. And if you’ll be home for a while, turn off the furnace so it doesn’t run continuously and break down.

How this helps your HVAC system: When your home’s temperature fluctuates, the equipment has to work harder. This puts extra stress on your system, shortening its lifespan and raising your energy bills.

5. Drain Water Heater

Bacteria can build up in the bottom of your water heater tank over time, so flush it out once a year. Turn off the power first and be sure to drain any sediment by hand, not with the water in your tank.

How this helps your HVAC system: When you flush out the sediment in the bottom of your tank, it keeps that material from releasing into your water lines or pipes and then eventually making its way into your furnace. You would have to get that cleaned out by a professional, which increases the chance of an HVAC breakdown.

6. Schedule Annual Maintenance

Schedule an annual maintenance check-up by calling your local HVAC professional. A pro will inspect the system, clean out any clogs or debris, and replace filters as needed. They may also check for leaks and other issues that could impact the performance of your system during the colder months ahead.

How this helps your HVAC system: Getting regular maintenance checks will keep it running as efficiently as possible. That means it will be less likely to break down, and more efficient use of energy means lower bills.

7. Insulate Areas Like The Attic, Crawl Space, And Pipes

Windows and doors typically let in the coldest air. If you have storm windows, install them before winter begins. You can also install weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent both cold and hot air from getting in.

How this helps your HVAC system: Sealing up drafts will prevent conditioned air from escaping, so your system won’t have to work as hard.

When Should I Call An Expert?

If you worry about your system breaking down during the winter, don’t hesitate to call an expert HVAC company. Professionals can take care of everything from small repairs and simple tune-ups to replacing old or broken equipment. Here are some additional tips to help you select the right contractor.

Do Your Research

Look for contractors who are licensed by the State of Ohio, and memeber of Best Practise Organizations (Ex: Air Conditioning Contractor Association, ), or other reputable organizations. They should also have a number of positive reviews from previous customers. Make sure you’re hiring someone who is both qualified and trustworthy.

Ask For References

Ask contractors for references from recent clients so you can call them to find out how they handled the job and if their HVAC system is still working correctly. You may also want to check with your local Better Business Bureau to see any complaints filed against the company.

Get Multiple Estimates

Get at least three estimates from contractors so you can compare prices and other factors, such as how long they’ve been in business and what kind of warranty their services include. And don’t just choose a contractor because he offers the lowest price – you may get what you pay for.

Get Ready For Winter With HVAC Maintenance

Now that you know more about winter HVAC maintenance, you can use these tips to keep your home efficient and cozy this winter. The pros will have your system ready to go, so you can just sit back and enjoy the Ohio winter.

When you’re ready to schedule an appointment for HVAC maintenance or repairs, call our expert team today.

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