Seasonal Transitions: Preparing Your HVAC System for Winter

October 20, 2023

As the crisp autumn air settles in, it’s a reminder that winter is just around the corner. For over 50 years, Kelleher Heating & Air Conditioning has been committed to keeping homes and small businesses in Richmond, VA comfortable year-round. In this blog post, we’ll share expert advice on how to prepare your HVAC system for the upcoming winter season. From ensuring efficient heating to safeguarding against unexpected breakdowns, these tips will help you stay warm and worry-free during the coldest months of the year.

Figure of house and warm hat on table with pine garland. Concept of heating season

Schedule a Professional Inspection and Maintenance

Before the winter chill sets in, it’s crucial to have your HVAC system inspected by a qualified technician. They can identify any existing or potential issues and perform necessary maintenance tasks. This includes checking for worn-out components, lubricating moving parts, and calibrating thermostats for optimal performance. Kelleher’s seasoned technicians have the experience to ensure your system is in top condition, ready to tackle the demands of winter.

Replace or Clean Air Filters

Clean air filters are essential for maintaining proper airflow and indoor air quality. Over time, filters accumulate dust, dirt, and debris, which can obstruct the system’s efficiency. Before winter arrives, it’s advisable to replace or clean your air filters. This simple task can lead to improved energy efficiency, better air circulation, and a healthier indoor environment.

Woman wearing yellow gloves, holding dirty old air filter.

Check and Seal Ductwork

Leaky ductwork can lead to significant energy losses, reducing the effectiveness of your HVAC system. Before winter, inspect your ductwork for any visible gaps, cracks, or loose connections. Seal these areas with appropriate duct tape or sealant to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering. This not only enhances comfort but also helps lower your energy bills.

Ensure Proper Insulation

Well-insulated homes are better equipped to retain heat during the winter months. Check your home’s insulation, paying close attention to areas like the attic, walls, and basement. Adequate insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the strain on your HVAC system. If needed, consider adding or upgrading insulation to enhance your home’s overall energy efficiency.

Glass wool and styrofoam insulation in a wooden frame on a inclined attic wall near a window

Test Your Thermostat

A properly functioning thermostat is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature. Test your thermostat to ensure it accurately reads and responds to temperature changes. If you have an older, manual thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. Something as simple as not sealing the hole in the wall behind your thermostat can have an enormous effect on the accuracy of your thermostat. These advanced devices offer precise control over your HVAC system, allowing you to create customized heating schedules and optimize energy usage.

Clear Outdoor HVAC Units

Winter weather can bring snow, ice, and debris that may obstruct your outdoor HVAC unit. Before the first snowfall, clear away any leaves, branches, or other debris from around the unit. If possible, cover the unit with a weatherproof cover to protect it from the elements. However, be sure to leave enough ventilation space to prevent moisture buildup. If you use a cover, which is not recommended by manufacturers, be sure not to run the unit which could cause serious damage to your system. Consider pulling out the electrical disconnect next to the unit so it can’t run at all with the cover on it. 

Consider a Professional HVAC Tune-Up

For peace of mind and added assurance, consider scheduling a professional HVAC tune-up with Kelleher HVAC. Our comprehensive service includes a thorough inspection, cleaning, and adjustment of key components. This proactive approach not only ensures your system’s reliability but also extends its lifespan, ultimately saving you money on costly repairs or premature replacements.

Outdoor HVAC unit cleared of all leaves, branches and debris for the winter

With these proactive steps, you can confidently face the winter season, knowing that your HVAC system is well-prepared to keep you warm and comfortable. At Kelleher HVAC, we take pride in our longstanding commitment to providing top-notch comfort solutions for Richmond, VA homes and businesses. Contact us today to schedule your winter HVAC maintenance and enjoy a cozy, worry-free winter ahead.