When these old knees start a-goin’, that can mean one of two things. Either that old sports injury is acting up, or the Bow Valley is tucking in for one of its yearly snowfalls.
Albeit, picturesque like a big fluffy earmuff deadening the sound of highway traffic, this time of year is when many of us turn on our furnace. But, if the cocoa you’re holding is the only thing keeping your hands warm while your HVAC sputters, you might be in some trouble.
For persistent mechanical issues, or if you’re looking to get every penny in savings, consider calling a professional for a tune-up. Otherwise, prepping your HVAC for the season is simple and doable in advance. Below we share the top 5 tips to keep your toes warm and your evenings a little snugglier this winter.
- Check Your Vents
A covered vent is like chewing gum with the wrapper still on. It’s something, sure, but probably not quite what you want. To make sure the hot air is reaching where it needs to, ensure clothing, mattresses, or furniture are not blocking the warm airflow. This will lower your HVAC’s time running, resulting in a longer machine lifespan and lower operating costs.
- Plug Up The Holes
The only thing drafty in your house should be your amateur poetry collection. Heating a home with holes is no easy task for an HVAC unit, and can lead to undue stress on the system. Ensure your insulation is sufficient in the attic and that any gaps in doors or windows are sealed fully. Turn those uphill battles into downhill slopes for your HVAC.
The more your machine runs, the more dust will collect in its filter, like how the more popcorn you eat, the more will get stuck in your teeth. Ensuring your filters are changed monthly will keep most machines running efficiently, but paying extra attention to this step before a snowstorm means that when the machine starts up for a heavy job, it hits the ground running without any interruption.
- Get Real (With Your Thermostat Settings)
Lounging around in 27ºC is for balcony weather, not the dead of winter. When your HVAC unit is presented with an impossible task, it will run day and night trying to keep up with those heating demands. This also runs up your utility, repair, and maintenance costs. Keeping the thermostat at an achievable level will prevent undue strain on the system so you can stay warm while the machine keeps its cool. Our recommendation for the cooler months here in the Bow Valley is to maintain a steady 20ºC (68ºF) for best efficiency, but of course, turning it up to combat the cold, when necessary.
Preventative measures are always less expensive than those that are designed to intercept an active issue. Our Specialists will inspect the parts involved for efficient HVAC operation, including belts, sensors, and all the tiny switches. A tuneup could save you hundreds of dollars down the line in utility costs or thousands if they spot compromised parts. If you’re noticing that your bills are scaling out of line with typical seasonal charges, it might be time to have someone take your machine apart and put it together—as good as new.
You can’t stop the snow from dropping, but you can keep your temps from doing the same. Make snowed-in days a treat and keep your winters cozy with Cascade Mechanical.
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