How To Winterize Your HVAC System in Sacramento

safety image of keys on the counter

Ah, wintertime. Time to pull the sweaters and hoodies out of storage, give the air conditioning a break, and enjoy the cooler weather while sheltering from the onslaught of pumpkin-spice-everything. Besides staying cozy, even safety is a challenge at this time of year; everything from pipe bursts to house fires is more common, even in an area like Sacramento where the temperatures aren’t prone to extremes. A few simple steps – and a New Window Sacramento HVAC maintenance assist from Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning – will keep you warmer and safer so you can enjoy the season.

Start With a Tune-Up

We normally suggest getting a home heating tune-up at around the same time you’re winterizing your air conditioning. It’s a bit late for that, but there’s never a bad time to have your furnace serviced. A simple cleaning, lube, and adjustment can ensure your furnace runs well for the winter.

Winterize Basements and Crawl Spaces

A warm basement helps the rest of your home hold in heat, which means your furnace won’t have to work as hard to keep you warm. It also limits the chance of burst pipes or problems with any major appliances – your water heater, washer, and dryer – developing problems. So:

  • Check and seal drafts around doors and windows to seal out cold air, moisture, and water
  • If your basement has a fan for ventilation, shut it off and ensure it’s sealed off
  • Cover basement windows with a layer of plastic film (it’s available at any hardware store)
  • Check your insulation for condition issues and dampness

Do a Deep Clean

Dust, mold, mildew, clutter – each undermines home and health in its own way. Deep clean your home, dusting, cleaning grout, clearing dust out of dryer vents and ducts, and changing your furnace filter. Make sure that vents and ducts aren’t obstructed by furniture, drapes, and debris. It’s also important to keep flammable objects away from heat-generating appliances like your furnace, dryer, and water heater.  And if you have a fireplace that’s in use, make sure you call a chimney sweep in periodically.

Check Major Appliances

With the holidays fast approaching, home heating won’t be your sole concern. Check your hot water heater (we provide New Window water repair maintenance and repairs, too). Make sure your dishwasher is ready for the onslaught of extra dishes. Buy an oven thermometer and make sure your oven is the right temperature, and have the burners and pilot lights serviced. Some of these things may be outside our purview, but we still want you to be able to entertain without worry!

Take Care With Supplemental Heating

It’s not uncommon for one room to feel a bit cooler than the others. Sometimes your whole home won’t be as warm as you’d like. Check your thermostat first, since that’s the culprit surprisingly often. Next, check to make sure the registers are open. If those steps don’t solve your problem, call us for home heating repair. If you absolutely must use supplemental heating, don’t use your stove – use a space heater that’s in good condition.

But whatever you do, don’t leave that space heater unattended, since space heaters are responsible for 40% of home fires and Search more than half of home fire fatalities. For longer-term heating in a space your ducts don’t reach, consider a ductless split system – it’s safer, and can pull double-duty cooling the same space

Check Your Detectors

Your home should have hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or battery-powered units. In either case, check the batteries (even a hard-wired system has backups), changing them if/as needed (battery-powered detectors should be changed around the same time you turn your clocks back and ahead for Daylight Saving Time). It’s also a good idea to go over fire safety with your family so you’re always prepared!

Be Diligent About Maintenance

With home heating installations, repairs, maintenance, and 24/7 emergency HVAC service, it’s easier than you think to stay safe and comfortable year-round. Call Contact New WindowAce Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning for help with all your Sacramento home heating needs!