Say goodbye to those hot, humid days of summer and hello to the brisk, cool days of autumn. While many of us in the northeast look forward to this time of the year and its vibrant fall colors and pumpkin spice everything, we often forget to prepare our heating and cooling systems for the winter.
Before you get into the full swing of corn mazes, pumpkin carvings, and Halloween parties, take the proper steps to ensure your heating and cooling systems are up-to-par and ready to take on the cold this winter.
Replace the HVAC system’s filters
Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is one of the most energy-efficient things you can do to help keep energy costs down. This should be performed once a month, but if you find it difficult to stick to that, make sure it’s changed before the winter hits.
Have your systems inspected
Before deciding on any major repairs, new purchases, or even turning on the HVAC system, have it inspected to ensure it’s working properly. If you have heating oil or propane, this also applies for the tank and lines on your property. Have them inspected to ensure you don’t need to repair or replace a tank during the winter.
For information on HVAC maintenance and inspections, check out our sister company, UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.
Check and clean vents and ducts
Before turning your HVAC system on, make sure to vacuum out every vent and any duct work you can reach. The more dust and debris you clean out now will prevent it from being pushed into the air of your home.
Winterize windows and doors
If you feel cold air or see light around your windows or doors, your home needs to be winterized. Prevent that precious warm air from escaping by weather stripping and caulking around your windows, doors, and even pipes connected to your home.
Clean dead leaves and high grass away from units
During your last mow of the season, cut the grass a little shorter than normal around your heating and cooling systems. Also, rake any piling leaves around the units to prevent unwanted clogging.
Fill tank before it gets too cold
If your primary heating source is oil or propane, fill your tank before it gets too cold. The colder it gets, the more expensive your heating source becomes. Take advantage of the summer prices and fill or top off your tank.
Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Inspect all smoke alarms, and, if applicable, inspect your carbon monoxide detectors. This will help to keep your home and family safe by detecting problems with your heating system.
On a cool morning, test your thermostat by turning the heat on to ensure your system is working correctly. Doing this before it gets too cold ensures that you won’t need to make any costly repairs in the dead of winter.
Sufficiently insulate attic
Before it gets too cold, take a look in your attic to make sure it’s insulated adequately as a poorly insulated attic will leak hot air. This is one of the best ways you can help your HVAC system run efficiently.
Sign up for the Winter Lock program
Do you use natural gas at a variable rate? Check out our Winter Lock program to lock in a low, fixed rate for the winter months. Our Winter Lock program helps to protect your energy budget against the rising cost of natural gas during the coldest months of the year.
Inspections, proper maintenance, and energy-efficient practices will help keep your energy budget in check this winter. For more information on energy-saving tips for the winter, call 1-800-427-8545, or check out the residential energy section of our website.