Winter is just around the corner for the Kentuckiana area and that means it’s time to switch on your furnace. Is yours ready for the challenges that winter brings? Here are 5 maintenance tips from the team at Prudential that will help you stay comfortable in your home all winter long.
1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
If your air filter is dirty and hasn’t been replaced in a while, it’s going to make your furnace run harder than it should. This can drive up your energy bills and reduce efficiency. Changing your filter will not only make your system run better, but also improve the quality of your indoor air.
2. Invest in a better air filtration system and consider built-in air cleaners
HVAC air filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) system. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration.
Although MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, the higher MERV ratings are reserved for HEPA filters, which require professional modification of your existing system. If you would like hospital-quality air filtration, you’ll want a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. If you aren’t quite ready to modify your HVAC system to fit these thicker and more effective air filters, then we recommend purchasing air filters with a MERV rating between 7 and 13.
3. Schedule professional duct cleaning and sealing.
Cleaning and sealing your air ducts not only improves indoor air quality, but it also helps you save money and energy.
Your air ducts can harbor any number of nasty irritants including dust, dander, pollen, and bacteria. These indoor air quality hazards oftentimes make it difficult to breathe comfortably. Make sure your home is as clean and healthy as possible before winter hits. A duct cleaning will clear out lingering allergens and irritants to help you minimize your chances of getting sick this season.
Speak with an indoor air quality specialist at Prudential Heating and Air Conditioning to learn more about:
- High-Efficiency and HEPA Filters
- Air Cleaners
- Air Scrubbers
- UV Germicidal Lights
- HRVs, ERVs, and Balanced Ventilation
- Whole-Home Humidification
4. Check Your Thermostat
Make sure your thermostat has fresh batteries and is set for your winter comfort needs. In order to save energy, we recommend setting your thermostat to a cooler temperature at night and while you’re at work, and turning it up when you’re home. If you don’t already have one, winter is an excellent time to upgrade to a programmable thermostat. This will help you keep your thermostat set on the most efficient setting all season long and even communicate to you any issues your system might be experiencing.
According to the EPA, the average American home loses 20 to 30 percent of their heated/conditioned air out of duct leaks in the home. While it’s possible to do some basic air sealing with mastic sealant (ironically, never duct tape), it’s best to call a professional for ductwork repairs.
5. Perform Preventative Maintenance
Thorough inspections will optimize your HVAC equipment for a long, healthy life. This way, you can stay comfortable each season, knowing that you are enjoying the greatest possible return on your investment.
Sign up for an HVAC maintenance agreement such as our Maintenance Value Plan (MVP) for bi-annual HVAC tune-ups and MVP treatment.
For more information on how you can improve your indoor air quality and get your HVAC system ready for winter, contact Prudential Heating and Air Conditioning.