The Ultimate HVAC Winter Guide

Sometimes winter arrives out of nowhere… being prepared ahead of time will keep you and your family from being left in the cold. Read our 7-Step Winter HVAC To Do List and get started today!

So now that winter is nearly upon us, it’s time to tune up your HVAC system! Why now? You don’t want a big winter storm to catch you off guard and possible damage or permanently break your unit components! Nor do you want to spend loads of money on a last-minute HVAC repair. Don’t suffer from a broken heating unit as the icy winds blow through your home.

Timely HVAC preventive maintenance is the best way to ensure trouble-free operation and peak performance year round. Let’s put it this way – you wouldn’t drive your car 20,000 miles without changing the oil. Your HVAC system, likewise, is a complex system that needs fine tuning to continue producing the optimal output level of clean, warm air.

The Ultimate HVAC Winter To Do List Infographic

Living in a winter wonderland, you need to take some extra steps to prepare for this holiday season. There’s a lot to do! But don’t feel overwhelmed just yet! For your convenience, we’ve made things simple by organizing this ultimate HVAC winter to-do list:

7 Winter HVAC To-Do Preps

1) Schedule HVAC Inspection Visit

Ensure that your heating equipment is in top shape before winter by hiring the right technician for a quick inspection. As the winter months approach, you should call your provider to performs regular tune-ups and inspections of home and commercial HVAC systems.

You should aim to identify and fix up all the inefficiencies in your HVAC system before they become serious problems. You should check for the following issues:

  • Assessing the health of your HVAC system’s heat exchanger using a combustion analyzer
  • Evaluating the condition of the draft diverter and flue pipe
  • Inspecting the inducer motor AMP draw
  • Assessing the blower motor AMD draw
  • Cleaning your blower assembly
  • Checking the heat rise
  • Checking all ductwork for dust clogs and holes
  • Assessing the condition of the pilot light and hot surface igniter
  • Safety audit including checking gas leaks, CO leaks, and all combustibles

Schedule an inspection of you HVAC unit to prevent emergency services

2) Always Monitor the Building’s Relative Humidity (RH)

All modern air conditioners have two fundamental functions: to remove heat and lower room temperature, remove moisture to lower relative humidity.

During early winter, your HVAC system probably doesn’t run as often. This makes sense considering that most people wouldn’t normally prefer air conditioning when it’s 70-degrees outdoors. However, you may still need to run the AC to remove moisture if the relative humidity is uncomfortably high.

You may have noticed that in some places of your home you feel comfortable even when the AC is turned off. Meanwhile, in other rooms, you start feeling sweaty or clammy despite a supposedly comfortable temperature. If you experience the latter too often at home, it’s safe to assume that your HVAC probably has a humidity problem.

To know for sure, monitor the relative humidity using a humidistat (available online or at any home improvement store). A battery-powered humidistat can help you accurately detect the relative humidity (RH) at your home or workplace. If you don’t control the humidity of the building, mildew will grow in the vents or condensation can leak into the electronic wiring of lightings and causes spark hazards. During the winter month, snow will continuously melt and freeze again, creating even more moisture within the building’s ceiling that may seep into the HVAC.

Your HVAC isn’t doing enough to remove moisture in the air when the humidistat detects RH at 65% or higher consistently. In that case, try out the following fixes:

  • Reduce the Thermostat Temperature: This is probably not an ideal solution if you run your AC at the 60s or low 70s as dropping the thermostat temperature could further lower the room temperature.
  • Variable Speed AC Unit: If your AC is approaching the edge of its lifespan, consider replacing it with a variable speed unit. These newer units are more capable when it comes to regulating humidity than traditional systems. Variable speed AC units make the best choice if you require air conditioning more often during winter, albeit at a lower speed. Because the cycles are longer, a variable speed AC is likely to do a much better job keeping the humidity at an acceptable level.

However, the RH may still shoot up higher than anticipated every now and again, especially so when the outside temperature is too low to keep the AC running smoothly. As a contingency, you might want to…

  • Install a Home-Dehumidifier: We recommend using a whole-house-dehumidifier as it will tie into your HVAC system and synchronize its operation with that of your air conditioner. If the humidity becomes uncomfortably high, the dehumidifier will activate automatically and help you get rid of the excess moisture from the air.

3) Replace Your Furnace Filter

Replace your temporary furnace filter or do some cleaning if you are using a permanent filter. This step is a relatively easy and straightforward task that you should be able to do all by yourself without requiring professional help.

You can find your furnace filter near your indoor HVAC equipment – either by a register in the equipment cabinet or along with the ductwork. If you’re still unable to find or access it, contact your local HVAC companies for assistance.

You can purchase most filter from around $5-60, depending on the type of HVAC system you have. The right air filter can prevent allergic reactions from pet dander, dust buildup, and mold.

4) Ensure Optimal Airflow by Cleaning HVAC Units

Blocked airflow is the most common factor in preventing your HVAC from running optimally. Rake around the outdoor equipment and remove anything that can potentially clog the condenser. Remove all the fallen leaves and trim dangling branches of any trees outside that could interfere with the efficiency of the unit. If a winter storm hits, scrubs and other vegetation can freeze over and block airflow to the indoors.

Not just that, we also recommend that you thoroughly clean the condenser as it can add to the lifespan of your equipment in addition to boosting efficiency.

5) Seal All Leaks to Keep the Warm Air Inside!

Do you sometimes unexpectedly feel a cool breeze even when the heater is turned on? This situation usually happens when you have air leaks around your doors and windows. Air leaks compromise the efficiency of your HVAC system and increase your utility bills by allowing hot air to escape outside since your HVAC system has to spend more time getting your home up to the desired temperature.

Thankfully, you can patch this yourself with some insulation, caulk, or weather stripping – just make sure to detect all possible leakages.

6) Don’t Ignore Safety Measures

You should be wary of carbon monoxide buildup as it may be lethal. Certain heating devices can release these dangerous gases that you need to control. You should always make sure to timely change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most digital equipment comes with an automatic reminder.

CO2 Safety & Monitoring Carbon Dioxide Levels in Your Home

7) Other factors to Consider

For Indoor Units:

  • If possible, limit heat transfer through the windows by up to 50% using double-glazing along with low-e glass. Don’t forget that by increasing the glass area you increase the amount of heat lost in winter and added in summer.
  • Don’t place TV, lamps, or any other heat-producing objects underneath a wall-mounted thermostat, since any rising heat from the devices may sometime prompt the AC unit to overcool your house.
  • Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Avoid unnecessarily running exhaust fans in the kitchen and washrooms for too long.

For Outdoor Units:

  • Clean the coil and the cabinet components.
  • Check fan blades and motors for wear and tear – especially if you have an older unit. Consider applying lubricants for more efficiency.
  • Install all wiring and connections, control box, and associated accessories as instructed by the manufacturer. Controls may include capacitors, circuit boards, sump heater, relays, and more.
  • Make sure that the compressor and associated tubing are in good condition.
  • Check the base pan to ensure that there are no restricted drain openings. Remove all unwarranted obstructions and clunks of dust.

Professional Services for Winter HVAC Jobs

When it comes to HVAC tune-up, there are certain tasks best left to professionals.

Heating systems are essentially a combination of highly sensitive equipment that requires regular maintenance to enhance performance and operational efficiency. Thus, we recommend scheduling a visit by a professional HVAC maintenance crew before winter sets in and other issues arise.

A trusted HVAC maintenance team will take care of all essential cleaning and inspect your HVAC system in and out to detect flaws and scopes for improvement.

Schedule A Service Call!

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Customer Reviews

best hvac company in Augusta
“I called 6 other companies when my AC stopped pushing air at 5PM. None of them seemed to want my business. When I got to Sig Cox, the guy who answered the phone was polite, knowledgeable, and was even trouble shooting with me before sending someone out. The agent got to my house in 30 minutes, troubleshoot, and fixed the problem in another 30. He even topped off the freon for free. The pricing was definitely agreeable. You’d get charged the same or more with any other company. Some of the best customer service I have seen. You should absolutely consider Sig Cox for you HVAC problems, I won’t be looking anywhere else.”
Nicholas Brennan
Nicholas BrennanGoogle Review
“These people are amazing. After hiring Sig Cox the first time to fix my HVAC unit about a year ago, I was more than happy, to say the least. Then about a week ago I had them install a new HVAC unit for me. This is by far the best a/c repair company in Augusta GA. They are professional, timely, and really take care of their customers. I highly recommend them and proudly give them an A+ rating! Thank you all so much!”
Chris Kirksey
Chris KirkseyGoogle Review
“This company did some work for my mother-in-law, of which she was quite pleased, so she recommended them to us. We had a downstairs unit that just wasn’t putting out any cool air. They came by post haste and assessed the unit, gratis. Of course it was a compressor failure so we had to make the hard decision to buy a new unit or fix what we had. The advice we got from our man on the scene was honest and sincere.
Since we had an older unit that used the phased out Freon and compressors are ugh, expensive, we went with a new unit. We decided on the Amana since it had a lifetime warranty on the compressor and rated well in Consumer Reports.
A month later the other unit failed and we replaced that as well. Six Cog worked with us on the price, we were never hassled on the payment, nor did they demand any payment on the spot and never did I feel pressured into anything. The install was smooth, fast and highly professional. Both units fired up, granted a month apart, and the house was cool almost immediately.
This company has a great reputation from what I can garner in the community, and I’m here to tell you that I recommend them highly as well. Please note that this is first recommendation I have ever put online.”
Donald Bradshaw
Donald BradshawGoogle Review
“Very good experience. The Service Technician, David, went above and beyond to assist us in our AC repair.”
Daniel Brown
Daniel BrownGoogle Review
“From the first time that Mr. Boarwright came out, I knew that your company was top of the line. None [of the other companies] laid it out on paper like Sig Cox.”
Steven Burris
Steven BurrisGoogle Review
“Thank you and your crew for your profession assistance in solving our unique heating and cooling situation that involved two seperate zones.”
PJ Rodgers
PJ RodgersGoogle Review
“It was a pleasure doing business with your staff. They were professional and provided the solution to our problem.
Margaret Brubaker
Margaret BrubakerGoogle Review
My air conditiong system went out, Sig Cox was recommended so I called them. Technician Andrew came out, was on time, and he properly diagnosed the problem. He had the part ordered. When the part came in, Nolan installed the part perfectly. Both technicians were very professional and knowledgeable. I even talked to the owner of the company who is involve day-to-day with his company. Very nice people to deal and they really go beyond what’s expected to help you get things fixed. I highly recommend Sig Cox!! Ask for Andrew or Nolan, they know what they’re doing!!
Dan Can
Dan CanGoogle Review
“We had a heating and air company we were satisfied with, but when we needed a new unit we went with Sig Cox because of the deal we couldn’t beat. We have been SO impressed with everyone we have worked with, from the customer service, to the salesman, to the technicians, they are all so friendly and professional! We will be loyal customers from now on!”
Ashley Marks
Ashley MarksGoogle Review