Even though Atlanta winters can be on the mild side, you never know when an especially frosty storm will hit. Here are seven winterization tips to prepare your HVAC system for a chilly winter season.
- Shut down your outdoor pipes. Since you won't be watering the grass throughout the winter, a great place to start is shutting down outdoor faucets and draining the water out of the pipes. These pipes are usually the first to freeze, so locate the shutoff valve for these faucets and remove the water before the cold arrives.
- Insulate exposed pipes. Pipes that run along your home's exterior or around your garage may be exposed to freezing temperatures in the course of a winter in Atlanta. Do a walk-through with a qualified technician if you're unsure which pipes are vulnerable. Adding insulation and other coverings can help you avoid frozen pipes. Keeping your garage door shut in the winter is another precaution. Adding pool noodles around your pipes can be a cheap, quick fix as well.
- Identify the water shutoff valve. Your home's main water shutoff valve is usually separate from your outdoor plumbing valve. Before winter hits in earnest, and in case your pipes freeze, familiarize yourself with this valve. In some instances, this requires using pliers to turn off the water traveling inside your home. You may want to invest in a key that can turn off the system without the risk of damage.
- Prep your furnace. Homes with a furnace powering the heating system need specific attention during winter preparations. Debris will accumulate throughout the year when the furnace is in operation. To keep the system running properly (and the air-quality levels high), vacuum out the dust and dirt particles collected inside the furnace.
- Change the HVAC filter. The easiest step in the winterization of an HVAC system is a simple filter change. If you didn't change your unit's filters last fall, it's imperative to get a new or clean filter ready for the winter. HVAC tuneups include this service.
- Troubleshoot your thermostat. Match the temperature you've set for your thermostat with the actual temperature in the different rooms of your home. Inconsistencies may reveal a weakness in your HVAC system, insulation or the thermostat itself. If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings so your heating habits make sense for your family's winter routine.
- Clean the air vents. The supply and return air vents must be clean as you prepare to run your heating system through the winter. Ask HVAC technicians to instruct you on the best method of vent cleaning. A heating system tuneup will meet this need and others when you're hustling to get everything done over the holidays.
As you complete your winterization checklist, you may run into jobs that are too time-consuming or complex for you. Contact Reliable Heating & Air for insulation upgrades or an HVAC tuneup, and for professional advice on getting your home ready for winter.