As the days shorten and temperatures drop, the last thing you want to do is wake up to the foggy sight of your breath because your furnace stopped working in the middle of the night.
Of course, one of the essential home maintenance tasks you can do to winterize your home each year is hiring an HVAC professional to inspect and tune-up your furnace.
There are several other items to tackle as cold weather arrives. Use this checklist to learn how to winterize your home and make sure your household stays warm this winter.
If you’re on the go, download our cold-weather home checklist to print and take with you!
Homeowner’s Winter Checklist
From clearing the gutters to installing new furnace filters and everything in between, knocking out this homeowner’s winter checklist before the temperatures stop dropping will keep your home warm and running efficiently this winter.
- Winterize air conditioning units. Remove any window AC units and store them in a dry location, like an attic or basement. Use the original box for storage if you still have it. For outdoor air conditioners, cut power to the unit by unplugging it during the winter and cover the top part with a piece of plywood or plastic to prevent anything, like icicles or tree limbs, from falling inside and causing damage. Don't completely cover the entire air conditioning unit, which includes the sides, as it can cause moisture issues and provide shelter to critters looking to stay warm.
- Tune-up your furnace. Hire an HVAC professional from Aire Serv® to thoroughly inspect your furnace, lubricate bearings, adjust the pilot light, and more. Consistent tune-ups can extend the life of your furnace and eliminate unexpected repair needs.
- Clean fireplace and chimney. A buildup of creosote—the black, sooty substance that sticks inside a chimney after a season of burning wood—can release toxic fumes into your home or spark a chimney fire. That's why it's so important to hire a certified chimney sweep at least once per year. Gas-powered and electric fireplaces don’t produce creosote, but it’s a good idea to clean out any dust that may have built up.
- Clear gutters. Rain and melting snow that can't drain properly if leaves and debris are clogging your gutters. Eventually this causes leak or mold issues inside your roof, attic, and your home’s walls.
- Install and test carbon monoxide detectors. Most CO injuries and deaths occur in cold-weather months. Install CO detectors on every floor of your home and especially near gas-fired appliances that can cause CO leaks, such as the clothes dryer, furnace, water heater, stove, and gas-powered fireplace. Test the alarms regularly to keep you and your family safe from this silent killer.
- Install new furnace filters. Furnace filters capture everything from dirt and mold to bacteria. Changing that filter monthly in the winter cuts down on those things spreading throughout your home and helps keep your furnace running efficiently in the colder months when it’s needed the most.
- Reverse your ceiling fan. The counterclockwise direction is used in the summer to push down cold air. Reverse the blades' direction to clockwise in the winter to recirculate heat and take some load off your heating system.
- Inspect windows for drafts. Air leaks, especially those around windows and doors, can keep your furnace working overtime. Find the source of the leak, then seal it with new weather stripping or caulking.
- Insulate air ducts. This is especially important for ducts in the basement, floors, and ceilings because it helps regulate temperatures by preventing any hot air from leaking out. Hire an HVAC expert to make sure the job is done right.
- Buy a smart thermostat. Minimize energy costs by heating your home only when you need to, automatically. Today's smart thermostats learn your routines, automatically turning up the heat as you get home from work and turning it back down again when you normally go to sleep. And if you leave and forget to turn down the furnace, you can adjust it from anywhere with your phone app.
Find Furnace Maintenance Services Near Me
In addition to completing our homeowner’s winter checklist, it’s important to have your furnace or heater serviced annually. An annual checkup of your furnace by your local Aire Serv professional can help cut down on utility bills and any surprise repairs down the road. Request an appointment or call (855) 679-0011 today and head into winter with confidence in your HVAC system.
Copy for checklist PDF:
As temperatures drop, don’t be caught off guard with unexpected HVAC repairs and high utility bills. Use this checklist from the HVAC pros at Aire Serv® to make sure your home stays warm and efficient all season long …
- Winterize AC units. Store window units in a dry location. Only cover the top of an outdoor unit.
- Clean fireplace and chimney. Hire a certified chimney sweep to clean out the soot in your chimney, which can spark serious house fires.
- Clear gutters. Prevent roof leaks by clearing leaves and letting water drain.
- Check carbon monoxide detectors. Install new batteries and test devices.
- Install new furnace filters. Replace each month in the winter to keep the furnace running efficiently.
- Reverse your ceiling fan. Set blade direction to clockwise to recirculate heat.
- Inspect windows for drafts. New weather stripping or caulking can seal up air leaks.
- Insulate air ducts. This helps regulate indoor temperatures.
- Buy a smart thermostat. Minimize energy costs by only heating your home when you need to.
- Tune-up your furnace. Hire an HVAC professional from Aire Serv to thoroughly inspect your furnace.
Start with the big items on your checklist by scheduling a furnace tune-up today. Visit our website at www.AireServ.com/request-appointment or call (855) 679-0011. Then start knocking out the rest of these items to stay nice and toasty warm this winter.