While late summer is still delivering plenty of warmth, as the weather gets colder in Reading, PA you’ll quickly want to turn on your home’s heating to stay comfortable. After all, challenges with your home’s heating can cause a lot of headaches when winter hits.

You might understandably be thinking, ‘already?’ But it’s important to service and maintain your HVAC systems early in the fall, or even around now, when summer is just starting to fade. , so you can make sure your HVAC can function properly all winter long. The last thing anyone needs is a central heating failure when the morning frost comes. Consider these tips to help ensure your home stays warm throughout the chilly and cold seasons.

Prioritize Insulation

While insulating your home isn’t technically HVAC territory, it’s still strongly related to the overall warmth and effectiveness of HVAC elements. While inspecting for gaps around your doors, windows, and under any awnings, you should also ensure that you have the proper amount of insulation in your attic to mitigate heat loss. The more heat that gets lost through air gaps and shoddy attic insulation, the tougher it is for your home’s heating system, risking a shorter lifespan overall. It will also have to use more energy or fuel than may be needed.

Shelter Your Home’s Outdoor Unit

When you know snow and ice are on the way, you should probably make a shelter for your outdoor HVAC unit. Avoid covering the unit completely since this can trap unwanted moisture and cause corrosion. Instead, you can install a small roof or high cover to protect the fan without totally closing the unit off. This will help prevent the unit’s fan from freezing, as it will try to start up until it eventually gives out. A basic lean-to design or roof-like structure can be easily made from fencing materials and is more than sufficient to protect your outdoor unit from the cold.

Close Your Chimney

Especially if you don’t use your gas or wood-burning fireplace, there’s little reason to keep open the damper. Essentially, a fireplace damper is an adjustable plate that rests above the fireplace, just before the flue. After closing it, this will both help all the heated air from rising up the chimney and stop cool air from entering. If you close the damper while the fireplace is not being used, you can ultimately save on your home heating costs. But remember not to use your fireplace with a completely or even partially-closed damper! 

Replace or Clean the Air Filters

If your home’s air filter is dirty or clogged, you will need to either clean it (if reusable) or replace it with a new filter. Replaceable air filters can usually work well for about a month if your HVAC system is on continuously. However, a dirty air filter can bring in contaminants from the air and also prevents heated air from getting through. A dirty or blocked filter will force the fans in your HVAC system to work harder than recommended and means that your furnace will have to use more fuel to keep running.

Contact the Experts at The Plumbing Works!

Late summer and early fall are great times to get your HVAC system inspected if you haven’t already. In a perfect world, you should have your heating checked out and maintained at least annually — and our properly-certified technicians can find any issues with your heating before it causes you trouble. Your local Reading HVAC professional will ensure that your home’s furnace is running strong and is ready to support you all winter long.

Make an appointment with a The Plumbing Works professional today to keep your home warm and comfortable throughout the seasons!

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