In the cold of winter, you want to make sure your HVAC system works properly and is ready to handle the harsh, freezing temperatures and snow that can sometimes hit unexpectedly. There are steps you can take to ensure that you stay warm during those cold months.

There are simple things you can do to properly maintain your HVAC system and to avoid any malfunctions that could occur during a heavy snow storm. Consider these tips to prepare your system for winter snow storms.

Regularly Replace Filters

The easiest way to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system is to regularly replace the air filters used to clean the air coming into the system. You should check the air filter at least once a month and replace it as it becomes soiled with dust and dirt. A clogged filter can make air flow more difficult, thus forcing your HVAC system to work harder than it should. As temperatures fall outside in advance of an approaching snow storm, you should replace dirty air filters to help improve circulation of the heated air from your furnace.

Regulate Indoor Temperature

You can help the efficient operation of your HVAC system by regulating the temperature indoors during the winter. The easiest way to do this is with a programmable thermostat. This thermostat can be programmed by the hour to regulate the temperature during the day and night. The programmable settings allow you to limit use of the HVAC system when you are away and efficiently adjust the temperature as the temperatures become colder to properly heat throughout the home. This practice can reduce energy bills and limit the amount of work your HVAC system must do.

Remove Vent Obstructions

Another way to improve the circulation of heated air during the winter in your home is to make sure the air vents are clear of any obstructions. Sometimes, curtains, furniture or other objects cover up vents that deliver heated air throughout the house. This will make the HVAC system work harder and result in poor circulation of the heated air. When you prepare for the harsher cold weather and snow storms, inspect your vents to ensure nothing is restricting the heated air that flows through them.

Check Insulation

Many homes are not properly insulated, which means their HVAC systems must consume more energy and work harder to heat a home. Poor insulation also can lead to improper and unequal heating throughout the home in the cold months. You can avoid this problem by ensuring that your home is properly insulated. Windows, doors and other openings must be sealed correctly. Insufficient insulation in the attic can also result in lost heat and can overwork your HVAC system.

Make sure your windows and doors have proper weather stripping and seals. If it has been a long time since you’ve had insulation added in the attic, add more to improve energy efficiency.

Unclog Heat Pumps

A clogged heat pump makes it more difficult for your HVAC system to transfer heat efficiently and effectively throughout your home. The heat pump is a key component in your HVAC system, helping to transfer heat that is used to warm the air. If the heat pump becomes clogged, it cannot operate properly. Make sure to clear away any snow or other debris that may collect around the heat pump so that it can work properly.

Invest in a Generator

Even with your best efforts to properly maintain and clean your HVAC system, you can sometimes still lose heat during a heavy snow storm. The most obvious way this happens is when the area loses power, something that cannot be resolved by proper HVAC maintenance. In those cases, having a backup energy supply in a generator can help ensure you stay safe and warm in your home during a big snow event. You can have a generator installed that will operate your HVAC system when the power is lost. This will ensure that no matter what mother nature throws at you, you can keep your house warm in the winter.

Ask a Professional for Help

Winter can produce some of the most intense weather that you face during the year. Its bone-chilling cold can cripple HVAC systems, freeze pipes and keep you stranded at home with piles of snow for days. While you can take steps to help ensure your HVAC system operates effectively throughout the year, it’s a good idea to contact the professionals at Comfort Systems to help make sure everything runs smoothly during the winter months. Comfort Systems offers experts in HVAC maintenance and installation who can inspect your system, maintain it regularly and offer you advice on ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort in your home.

Comfort Systems USA is a leading building and service provider for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing building systems. Comfort Systems is a major service provider, with more than 35 operating companies in over 140 locations across the United States. Our national footprint allows us to meet the needs of today’s most technically complex systems. Comfort Systems USA’s companies deliver expert resources necessary to perform a range of services including mechanical, electrical, process piping, modular construction, and building automation controls.