How to Prepare your HVAC for Winter

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How to Prepare your HVAC for Winter

Things are starting to cool off as we are well into autumn. Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the colder months. The system responsible for keeping your home cozy is your HVAC and it is key to keep this system running well to extend the life of the HVAC and ensure that you don’t wake up freezing in the middle of the night. Here are five basic tips on how to prepare your HVAC for winter. If you have any more questions or need help with your HVAC contact us at 757-229-9889!


Filters help your HVAC system run smoothly and keep the air in your home clean. Depending on the size of your filter, how many pets you have, and if you smoke inside, you will need to change the filter every 2 – 6 months. Read the directions on your filter to determine how often it should be changed. Because you will most likely be heating your home throughout the winter months, your filter will need to be changed more often than spring and fall, when you may not have the HVAC system running all the time. Allergen filters will help keep the air in your home cleaner, and filters also help to keep dust and other debris out of your HVAC system, thus prolonging it’s life. To make things easier, you can schedule to have filter routinely delivered every 2 months or so, to help you remember to change the filter. Changing the filters doesn’t necessarily have to be part of “how to prepare your HVAC for winter”, but because our windows generally stay closed during the cold months, having clean air inside is vital to the health of your family.

Air Ducts

Cleaning your air ducts is also important to maintaining the health of your family, as well as your HVAC system. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends having your ducts cleaned every three to five years. Cleaning in the fall may be more beneficial than other times of the year because you will be starting to run the heat through the ducts. Throughout the year dust, allergens, and mold can collect on your ducts. When the heat turns on, it may cause these contaminants to react, and have more severe effects than during other times of the year. Contact an air duct cleaning service to have routine maintenance and cleaning for your ducts scheduled. Clean, functional ducts allow air to flow more efficiently in your home – lowering your heating bill and prolonging your HVACs life.


Just like in your car, there is a belt in your HVAC system that needs to be replaced every so often. This belt provides power to the blower, which pushes air to the compressor. There is no timeline for the life of an HVAC belt – it really depends on how often you run the system. In warmer states, where a/c runs constantly, the belt will wear out more quickly than somewhere that only turns on the a/c for a few weeks in the summer. To check your belt, all you need to do is look at it to see if there are any visible cracks or damage. Having routine maintenance done on your HVAC system will ensure that the belt is checked and replaced when needed. A working belt allows the system to run more efficiently, saving your money.


Checking your vents is another easy but money-saving thing on the “how to prepare your HVAC for winter” checklist. Simply do a walk-through of your home and look to see if any vents are blocked. A blocked vent causes your HVAC system to work harder because the blocked air is pushing back up the duct, running into air that is trying to come out. There is nothing special needed to complete this step, just know where all your vents are and look to see that they can dispense air into the room without obstruction.


There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, shivering because the heat is not working. Having done maintenance completed in the fall is a vital part of “how to prepare your HVAC for winter” because no one wants to be cold. If your a/c goes out in the summer, you can open the windows and turn on fans until it’s fixed, but heating your home is much more difficult. Don’t take the risk of the heat going out on the coldest night of the year. Having routine maintenance done on your HVAC unit will most likely prevent any mishaps from occurring and prolong the unit’s life. HVAC units generally live 10 to 12 years, but a well-maintained unit can last up to 20 years. These units are expensive to replace, so keeping them running efficiently will save you a lot more money than the cost of a routine HVAC visit.

Most of the steps of how to prepare your HVAC for winter are simple things you can do on your own, or that will be done during routine maintenance. Keeping the system healthy allows it to run efficiently, saving your money and keeping the air in your home comfy and clean. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, get in touch with Weather Crafters – we are here for you!

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