There’s no doubt that winter in Central Pennsylvania can be stunning. It can be a winter wonderland with an average of 23 inches of snow in York, PA. But it can soon turn into a nightmare if your HVAC system chooses that moment to go on the fritz. 

Winter HVAC maintenance is just as necessary as summer. It can help you keep yourself and your family warm and make sure you don’t use more energy than you need to.

Let’s explore five winter maintenance tips to help you prepare for the coldest time of the year.

1. Swap Out Air Filters

The air filters are like the lungs of your HVAC system. During the summer and fall, they work extra hard. There are allergens such as pollen and dust to remove from the air, not to mention pet dander and bacteria. 

They can quickly become clogged and inefficient. In addition, the airflow to your furnace will be restricted, causing it to work harder. It could even overheat, which will cause parts to wear out faster than they should.

Dirty air filters also affect the air quality in your home. Clean filters help to keep your air ducts clean. They can also reduce the level of harmful mold and other pathogens circulating around your home. 

The right air filter for your furnace depends on whether you have pets. Pets produce dander, and you may need to change your air filters more often. However, some furnace filters on the market are designed for this purpose.

Get into the habit of replacing them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is usually around every 90 days or more frequently if anyone in the family has allergies.

2. Open and Clean Vents

Take a few minutes to go around all of your vents. If they’re dirty, the dust can interfere with the smooth running of your HVAC system. Wipe them with a slightly damp cloth to remove any build-up of dirt and dust.

Make sure that the vents are all open. It may seem like closed vents would save money on energy, but this is not the case. Instead, they throw off the balance of air distribution in your home and make your HVAC system run less efficiently.

So as part of your winter maintenance, ensure all vents are open and are not blocked by furniture or other obstructions.

3. Clean Your Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line on your HVAC system removes the humidity and condensation from your system. Over time, it can become clogged.

The first sign may be a water leak, with dirty water damaging your floor, walls, and more. So it’s much better to perform preventative maintenance before that happens.

Completely turn off your HVAC system and locate the condensate drain line access point.

The next step is to flush the line. You can buy a bottle of drain line cleaner or use a simple solution of distilled vinegar and hot water. The goal is to eliminate mold or algae starting to build up before it becomes problematic.

Ask your local HVAC service company if you’re unsure how to do this. 

4. Give Your Outdoor Unit Attention

The fall and winter bring lots of falling debris that could clog up your outdoor unit. Not to mention furry friends who would love to make it their winter home!

Head outside and take stock of the situation. Remove any noticeable debris build-up on your heat pump or AC unit. Clear the area around the unit and make sure there are no overhanging shrubs or branches to keep it free of clogs for the rest of the winter.

If the unit is super dirty, it’s a good idea to clean it thoroughly. Buy some foam cleaner, but begin by rinsing it down with a hose on a gentle setting. Using a power washer could damage the coils, so avoid that at all costs.

Then spray with an appropriate foam cleaner and let it do its work. Then gently rinse it off. If you don’t feel confident about how to maintain your outdoor unit, call the professionals to do it for you.

5. Schedule a Winter HVAC Tune-Up

Pennsylvania homes use several forms of heating, including oil furnaces, gas furnaces, and heat pumps. Whatever option you use, schedule a winter tune-up

A qualified technician will check and calibrate the thermostat, ensuring that it reaches the temperature on the dial and regulates it correctly. They will also check that all parts are in good working order and there are no problems with the gas or oil line. This can help prevent water, gas, and oil leaks. 

They will also lubricate the bearings and motor, keeping it running efficiently. If you choose, they can also replace the air filter for you.

Long-Term Savings

Experienced technicians may spot problems before they become serious. Replacing parts that are becoming worn at this stage may prevent serious damage and save you money in the future.

Signing up for a regular maintenance plan will ensure that you don’t forget to schedule twice-yearly HVAC services. Service plans may also offer discounts on parts and labor if you need HVAC repairs.

Time for Winter HVAC Maintenance

If you haven’t scheduled your winter HVAC maintenance yet, you don’t have a moment to lose. It can help you save money on energy and keep the air in your home clean. It could also extend the life of your HVAC system by spotting problems early.

Williams Service Co. is the service to trust for Central Pennsylvania HVAC maintenance. Our teams show up on time and get the job done. If your HVAC system needs a tune-up or a repair, we’re the company to call.

Call us toll-free at 800-522-6444 or reach out online for service 24/7.