The easiest way to prevent illness and discomfort during the winter season is to perform maintenance on your appliances. Performing an inspection of your furnace in the fall is critical to ensure your system can provide warm air on cold days. On the other hand, it’s important to resolve issues with your whole-house humidifier prior to the winter months to prevent issues such as dry skin, damage to wood flooring, and cracks in furniture. To help you prepare for the cold weather, we have compiled a list of ways to winterize your house to keep it safe and livable.
How To Prepare Your House for the Winter Season
Table of Contents
1.) Analyze the Performance of Your Appliances
Pay special attention to changes in appliance and equipment performance, as they can be early warning signs of larger problems. If you’re looking for ways to winterize your home, it’s important to troubleshoot and fix problems to improve the energy-efficiency of your appliances. It is not abnormal to encounter issues with furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, and boilers in the winter.
Hire a licensed technician to restore the circulation of warm air or hot water before the problem becomes severe. For example, do not hesitate to call a technician if your furnace is continuously activating and deactivating every 5 minutes throughout the day. Delaying a repair for a furnace can cause damage to the gas burners, blower assembly, or heat exchanger.
2.) Inspect & Replace the Air Filter in Your Furnace
If your furnace overheats and shuts down on a cold day in the winter, you will need to perform an inspection of your air filter. When a filter becomes clogged with dirt and dust, it will restrict the distribution of cold air to the heat exchanger and cause the furnace to become warm. To prevent damage to the flame sensor and blower fan, the furnace will deactivate. The easiest way to stop your furnace from becoming too warm is to replace the air filter every three months, or more frequently, depending on the region and type of filter you are utilizing.
A fiberglass “throw-away” filter should be discarded and changed on a strict monthly basis. A media air filter can be changed every six months or so. A clean air filter is critical to winterizing a house and improving indoor air quality. Homeowners should periodically check the condition of the furnace or air handler filter to determine the frequency necessary for changing the filter in their homes.
3.) Clean & Replace the Humidifier Filter
Whole-house evaporative humidifiers are integrated with a filter or pad that is designed to circulate moisture into the air in your home. Once the humidifier detects dry air, it will dispense water into the filter. Next, the filter will absorb and store the water until your furnace is activated by your thermostat. When the interior temperature of your house becomes too cold, the blower motor in the furnace will turn on and distribute dry air to the whole-home humidifier. After the cold air arrives at the humidifier, it will be disbursed through the water in the humidifier filter to increase the total amount of moisture in your home.
4.) Move Furniture & Items Away From the Supply & Return Vents
Drapes and furniture should be positioned at a considerable distance from the vents in your house to enable proper airflow. To winterize your house, you will need to inspect each of the supply vents and move items such as couches and tables that are restraining airflow. Do not place items such as chairs, baskets, towels, cabinets, bags, or rugs over the supply vents. Blocking a supply vent will cause hot air to become trapped in your furnace.
To prevent damage to the blower assembly, inspect the supply vents in each room to ensure they are not blocked. While it’s not a good idea to block a supply vent, accidentally covering a return vent is more dangerous. If one or more return vents are covered by a chair or rug, the furnace will not receive an optimal amount of cold air to maintain a safe operating temperature. Once the furnace becomes too warm, the high-limit switch will deactivate the system to prevent damage to the heat exchanger or bas burners.
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5.) Seal Your Walls
Gaps and holes in a home’s exterior will cause drafts and high utility bills. Use expanding foam to seal exterior holes in walls. Seal gaps around window and door frames with weather stripping and caulking.
6.) Remove Lint In the Dryer Vent
Use a long dryer vent cleaning brush to remove lint buildup from inside of the dryer through the outside venting. Lint buildup in dryer venting is an extreme fire risk. The vents should be cleaned once a year to winterize a house. Call a licensed technician in your area to inspect and clean the vent connected to your dryer.
7.) Clean the Condenser Coils in the Refrigerator
A savvy homeowner can pull the home’s refrigerator away from the wall and use a bristle brush to clear dust and dirt from the condenser coils. Dirty coils will increase the total amount of time it takes to produce cold air for the food in your refrigerator. Since the refrigerator is required to operate long cycles to compensate for the dirty coils, the internal parts will become damaged and cause the refrigerator to fail.
8.) Replace the Refrigerator Water Filter
Refrigerator water filters should be replaced every six months or more frequently, which will result in better quality drinking water and ice.
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Plumbing & HVAC Services
If you are having a problem with your water heater or furnace, give our team of certified technicians a call at (302) 367-7915. We offer plumbing and HVAC services such as air conditioning repair, heat pump installation, water heater maintenance, and furnace repair. Our team will walk you through the steps necessary to prepare your house for the winter season. In addition, we offer a 2-year warranty on repairs to ensure satisfaction.