Winter is almost here, and it’s already feeling brisk in Glenview, Illinois. Fortunately, it’s not too late to schedule your HVAC maintenance before winter fully sets in. There’s also plenty you can do on your own to prep your HVAC system for another season cold yet comfy season.

Change the Air Filters

The start of a new season is the perfect time to change your home’s air filters. Since filters become dirty and clogged over time, you should aim to change them at least once every three months. If you have multiple pets, you may want to change them more often.

Remember, just because you don’t see an actual clog doesn’t mean the filter isn’t dirty. Always err on the side of caution, and replace it with a new one on a regular basis.

Check the Thermostat

Thermostats don’t stay calibrated forever. Any accidental bump or dust accumulation can mess up the calibration. Now’s a good time to test the thermostat and check its settings.

To check a thermostat’s calibration, tape a glass tube thermometer to the wall a few inches from the thermostat. Since you don’t want it to touch the wall, pad it with some paper towels before taping it down. Wait 15 minutes for the mercury thermometer to stabilize, then read it.

Compare the thermometer’s reading to the thermostat’s temperature. If they’re off by more than one degree, you’ll need a professional HVAC service technician calibrate the thermostat.

Invest In an Air Conditioner Cover

While you don’t need to keep your exterior AC unit covered all winter long, it’s important to protect it from storm damage. Make sure you’ve purchased a suitable cover.

The unit is designed to stand up to extreme temperatures, including layers of frost and snow. But if it’s encased in a thick layer of ice, the coil fins, blades and other components can damage.

Your HVAC system is one of your home’s biggest investments. You want to take care of it properly and make sure it’s protected from blizzards, ice and falling debris.

Invest in a specially designed AC cover, though. Never wrap the unit in plastic and duct tape, because a DIY wrap can encourage rodents and other pests to take up residence. This can also encourage mold growth, so choose a suitable cover and use it wisely.

Prevent Wasted Energy

The key to staying warm and cozy all winter is in preventing energy from escaping and letting the cold air in. Reduce your seasonal energy bills by performing a simple checklist throughout the home. Cover your water heater with an insulating blanket, update your programmable thermostat as needed, insulate water pipes and search for air leaks.

Whenever you feel a draft inside the home, look around for causes. You may need to add weatherstripping, upgrade to more efficient windows or simply stuff a rolled-up towel underneath a door to prevent heated air from escaping.

Schedule Your Annual HVAC Maintenance

While there’s plenty you can do to prep your HVAC system for winter, nothing replaces professional HVAC maintenance. Nobody understands the ins and outs of home heating and cooling like the experts. Schedule an appointment before that first snowstorm hits to make sure you’re well prepared.

Scheduling your yearly HVAC service before winter is also a smart way to prepare for the coming season. An HVAC service technician can spot any potential problems that can lead to system breakdowns in the middle of a harsh winter night. Since you’ll have time to take care of these issues before extreme weather sets in, you won’t find yourself without heat when your family needs it most.

Don’t put off your pre-winter HVAC prep any longer. Perform as many DIY tasks as possible to get your system ready for the coming season, and call the experts at Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning at 847-562-5292. With our heating services, we’ll help you and your family stay toasty warm all winter long.

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