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HVAC Maintenance Services in Portland, OR

Winter in Oregon can get pretty chilly. HVAC maintenance is the key to helping your heating system go all season without breaking down. A well-maintained HVAC system also keeps your home warm and comfortable without hiking up your energy bills. It can even add years to your system’s lifespan, saving you money on premature replacements. Here are five tips to maintain your HVAC system this winter so it runs efficiently, reliably, and safely until spring arrives.

Tip 1: Regularly Replace the Air Filter

The HVAC air filter is responsible for removing dust, textile fibers, and other particles that could land on and damage sensitive heating equipment. An efficient enough filter also promotes better indoor air quality. Over time, the filter becomes clogged as it traps airborne particles, restricting airflow and forcing the system to work harder. This can lead to increased energy costs and potential system failures.

To avoid these problems, experts recommend checking your air filter monthly, especially during high-use periods throughout the winter. If the filter appears dirty, you know it’s time for a replacement. Keep in mind that some filters are washable, while others must be replaced after each use. Some high-end filters are also designed to last up to one year between replacements.

Tip 2: Monitor Your Thermostat Settings

Optimized thermostat settings can reduce your heating bills without compromising comfort. First, set the temperature to 68 degrees F while you’re home, and dress for the season to keep warm. Then, lower the temperature by about 8 degrees when you’re asleep or out of the house for noticeable savings.

A programmable or smart thermostat automates these adjustments based on your schedule. With automatic setbacks and recovery periods, you can set it and forget it, knowing you’re saving energy without sacrificing comfort. Lowering your heating demand also reduces the risk of overworking your furnace and prolongs its lifespan.

Tip 3: Seal Air Leaks and Insulate the Ductwork

Air leaks around your home and in your ductwork are major culprits of energy loss. Drafty areas around windows, doors, and other openings allow warm air to escape, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and driving up energy costs. Similarly, improperly sealed or insulated ducts lose a significant amount of heated air before it reaches your supply registers.

To combat these issues, first apply caulk or weatherstripping around windows and doors. Other solutions like outlet gaskets and spray foam around plumbing and wiring penetrations are also effective. For leaky ductwork, you’ll need to hire a professional to inspect, seal, and insulate the air ducts. These steps improve energy efficiency and enhance HVAC performance all winter.

Tip 4: Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance

While you can take many steps to maintain your heating system yourself, annual maintenance performed by a qualified HVAC professional ensures your system operates efficiently and safely throughout the winter. This service typically includes a system inspection, cleaning of crucial components, thermostat calibration, and confirming that the heating system is functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance is the ideal time to identify and fix small issues before they escalate into larger, more expensive problems. A well-maintained HVAC system also operates more efficiently and can last years longer, helping you get the most from your investment. The ideal time to schedule this service is in the fall to get your system ready for winter, but it’s never too late in the season to perform this crucial task.

Tip 5: Check and Clean the Outdoor Unit When Spring Arrives

Over the colder months, dead leaves, pine needles, and other debris can accumulate around the unit, potentially restricting airflow and reducing efficiency. As winter’s chill transitions into warmer spring weather, it’s important to check and clean your outdoor HVAC unit before turning it on for the first time in months.

To clean the unit, first, turn off the power. Then, gently remove large debris by hand or with a soft brush, being careful not to bend the fins on the coil. You can also use a garden hose to gently rinse away dirt and cobwebs, but avoid using high-pressure water. Check the area around the unit for overgrown vegetation and trim it back to promote good airflow. This simple maintenance task improves HVAC efficiency as the seasons change, reducing wear and tear and helping to prevent breakdowns as summer rolls around.

Contact First Call Heating & Cooling for HVAC Maintenance Services

Clearly, HVAC winter maintenance is crucial for home comfort, safety, and energy savings. First Call Heating & Cooling can help you enjoy these benefits with expert HVAC maintenance service in Portland, OR. Drawing on over 80 years of experience, our highly trained technicians provide top-notch tune-ups, diagnostics, and repairs. We also offer 24/7 emergency service for help when you need us most. Call 503-231-3311 to schedule annual HVAC maintenance with us today.