What to Expect for Your HVAC System as Winter Comes Rolling In
Winter in San Antonio, Texas is generally pretty mild. With highs ranging in the mid-60s and lows rarely falling below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, local temperatures are moderate enough for heat pumps, reasonable thermostat settings, and other efficient, cost-effective heating strategies. However, as Texans have repeatedly experienced in recent years, the unexpected can and does happen. Thus, it’s important to make sure that the HVAC system in your home is ready for just about anything.
Priming Your HVAC System for the Challenges of a San Antonio Winter
One of the best ways to prime your HVAC system for any challenges that it will face this winter is by limiting its load. Make sure that your home has adequate insulation and that you’ve installed insulation with sufficiently high R-values. Add weatherstripping to your windows and doors, and seal up all cracks, gaps, and other air leaks. When your home has a “tight envelope,” your heating equipment won’t have to work so hard. Your furnace, boiler, or heat pump will have shorter heating cycles on even the coldest days of the year. It will also have less of them.
The next step in preparing your HVAC system for a San Antonio winter is scheduling heater maintenance. These visits give HVAC technicians the chance to catch and resolve minor and developing problems. This way, these issues never have the opportunity to spiral out of control. Moreover, they won’t leave you without a functional heater when you need one the most.
Heat Pumps and San Antonio Winters
Heat pumps are a popular choice for winter heating in this region due to their high levels of efficiency and the low costs of using them. Rather than actually creating heat, heat pumps simply transfer it from outside. They work well in areas with mild, moderate winters. A heat pump can reliably transfer adequate amounts of outdoor heat indoors even when the temperature falls as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, some heat pumps can continue doing their job when outside temperatures dip below freezing.
However, although freezing winter temperatures aren’t the norm in San Antonio, you may need an alternative heating solution if you own a heat pump. If you’re relying on your heat pump as your sole source of indoor heat, speak with your HVAC technician to find out more about the limits of its performance.
Storm-Related Power Outages and Your HVAC System
Power outages can leave Texans without heat when they need it most. This remains true even for those households that rely on oil-fueled or gas-fired furnaces or boilers. All modern heating systems require electricity to run. Although some heaters combust fuel to produce heat, their blower fans, electric ignition switches, and other main components require an electrical supply.
If the power goes out in your home, you may be able to keep warm by taking advantage of a wood-burning fireplace or a wood-burning stove. Some households have back-up generators installed instead. These units seamlessly turn on when power outages occur so that the performance of home heating systems and other essential appliances isn’t disrupted.
Ductwork Cleaning Is a Must If You Haven’t Scheduled It in a While
Cold weather in San Antonio often means spending more time indoors. Many households keep their windows and doors sealed shut throughout much of the day; thus, indoor air quality (IAQ) can decline. Regularly changing your HVAC air filters is a great way to keep winter IAQ problems at bay. You can also speak with your HVAC technician to find out about increasing the quality and filtration capabilities of your current filter types.
You should additionally consider having your HVAC ductwork inspected and cleaned. HVAC air ducts should be professionally cleaned once every three to five years. These services should be scheduled more frequently if anyone in your home is living with a chronic respiratory condition. Basic HVAC air duct inspections ensure that these distribution channels aren’t damaged or blocked, don’t have air leaks, and won’t impede the overall performance of home heating equipment.
Even if your HVAC system is working just like it should, now may be a great time to consider investing in a few season-specific upgrades and accessories. For instance, having a smart thermostat installed will help you lower both your carbon footprint and your home heating costs. These units coordinate their setting changes with the lifestyles and behaviors of building residents.
A whole-house humidifier can come in handy if you have chronically dry indoor air. Likewise, an integrated dehumidifier will address problems like condensation on your windows and moldy drywall and baseboards. Your HVAC technician can help you find the perfect HVAC accessories for optimizing your indoor comfort this winter.
At Rosenberg Plumbing & Air, we proudly serve residents of San Antonio, Texas and the surrounding area. Our clients can turn to us for heating and cooling installation, repairs, and maintenance. We also provide UV sanitization, air quality services, ductless mini-splits, and ductwork services. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment!Tags: HVAC Maintenance