It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the one-year anniversary of the Texas freeze and power outage that displaced many residents last February, leaving them without heat, a working stove, and water for days. With meteorologists forecasting that another freeze may be on the horizon, you should begin preparing your home and HVAC system now to prepare your home for colder temperatures that lie ahead.
One of the unforeseen consequences of last year’s freeze was the increased level of distrust towards the systems that deliver these kinds of important services to our homes. Searches spiked for items that can make your home more self-reliant, like solar panels, purifiers, generators, and space heaters.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go “off-grid” to prepare your home for Mother Nature’s next freeze. Taking these steps today can help protect you from the worst-case scenario and give you peace of mind. Plus, these tips can help you save on your energy costs. That’s a win-win in our book.
Regularly Replace Air Filters
If there is one tip we could give as HVAC experts to help you extend the life of your unit, it is to regularly change your system’s air filters. Most modern systems have one large filter installed just before the blower fan. At around four to five inches thick, this filter captures dust, pollen, mold, dander as well as other debris and allergens. If it weren’t for your filter, your home would have all of these things and more just floating freely in the air.
Over time, as your filters age, they begin to collect these contaminants within their layers. A filter that looks discolored, or one that has visible dust or dirt requires 200% effort from your unit just to function properly. Dirty air filters are also often the culprits behind low airflow and premature part failure.
If your home is particularly dusty, you’ll want to change these filters more often. Regular air quality means your filter can last the entire year, but if your home is dirty, or is going through construction, we’d recommend switching them out every six months or so.
Regularly maintaining your system will put it in a better position to not fail when you need it most, like the next deep freeze. Plus taking care of your HVAC system now can set you up for success – aka lower energy and repair bills.
Check Your Insulation
One way to ensure your home is retaining the heat your system works so hard to produce is by ensuring your doors and windows are sealed and your home is properly insulated.
Most people can’t see the insulation in their home, as it’s hidden behind sheetrock, drywall, etc. As HVAC technicians, we have thermal imaging devices that can help us assess your home’s insulation. If you’re wondering if yours needs attention, give us a call, and we’ll come take a look.
Test Your Thermostat Now
Waiting until the first cold day to ensure your thermostat and heater are working is never a good idea. Before it gets too chilly, test your thermostat and furnace. Run them through a heating cycle, allowing it to idle for at least thirty minutes. You can’t assume that because your thermostat and A/C worked well all summer long the same will be true for your heater.
If your thermostat is old or on the fritz, give us a call. We offer the ComfortLink™ II XL850 from Trane, their latest programmable smart thermostat that you can access from your phone and use to control all aspects of your home comfort. Don’t delay on replacing this important component. The last thing you want in the middle of a deep freeze is a broken thermostat or heater.
Upgrade Your Old Heater
If your heater is ten years old or older or is giving you problems already this year, it’s likely that upgrading to a new one will save you both time and money. Today’s heaters, like the XC95m Gas Furnace by Trane, can help you save on energy costs, and give you peace of mind that as long as there is power, it will keep your home warm and comfortable during winter’s worst.
Heating and Cooling Experts in East Texas – Air Solutions of Beaumont
At Air Solutions, we’re here to help you prepare your HVAC system for whatever the Texas winter brings. Whether you need an inspection, regular maintenance, or a brand new unit, our experienced technicians are here for you.
For more information about our heating system selection, or to schedule an appointment for repair or maintenance, contact us today at (409) 962-2476, or request a service appointment online.