Imagine the first cold day of the season. There’s a chill in the air and you’re ready to make a warm bowl of soup and snuggle under a blanket. But first, you need to turn on the furnace. However, when you change the thermostat, nothing happens. Your cozy, cool day is now an HVAC emergency. Don’t let this happen to you! Instead, plan for winter with preventative HVAC maintenance for your Jacksonville, Florida home.

While not all issues can be avoided with regular maintenance, most of the time worn or broken parts are identified so that repairs can be made before your system stops working. However, understanding the most common HVAC issues, allows you to deal with a broken unit more.

Five Common Winter HVAC Problems

1 – Dirty Air Filters

One of the simplest ways to keep your HVAC unit healthy is with clean air filters. It’s difficult for the air to flow through your HVAC unit when air filters become clogged or dirty. Not only that but air filters are designed to clean the air before it enters your living space. When the air filters are dirty, the air quality in your home is compromised.

If you notice that your home is not heating properly or that your system is running longer to reach the desired temperature, you may need to change your air filters. It’s recommended that homeowners change or clean the HVAC air filters every one to three months. Clean your air filter more frequently if your home is exposed to pet hair, smoke, or excessive dust, like from construction. Breathe easier this winter and avoid costly repairs by changing your air filters.

2 – Broken Thermostat

Like with changing air filters, a broken thermostat is usually relatively easy and affordable to repair. If the thermostat is broken, then it won’t signal the HVAC system to turn on. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, troubleshoot to check for common problems. Check the power source of your thermostat to ensure a wire isn’t loose, the battery isn’t dead or a fuse isn’t blown. Next, clean the thermostat. Sometimes dust and dirt can build up causing issues.

If you determine it’s time for a new thermostat, upgrade to a programmable, smart thermostat. Smart thermostats offer better energy efficiency than older models. The customization allows for an ideal temperature setting for both comfort and efficiency. When your HVAC unit runs less frequently, the life of your unit is extended.

3 – Cold Zones

Often it isn’t that your HVAC system stops working entirely, it’s just that certain parts of your home aren’t getting or staying warm. These cold zones indicate a problem with your unit. The reasons for a cold zone can vary. If you have zone heating, the thermostat or internal duct valves may need repairs.

For traditional HVAC systems, cold zones may indicate that the ductwork is clogged and needs cleaning. If the cold zone is in a remote part of your home, it could be that your HVAC unit needs repairs and is working harder to push out the air. Regardless, contact the Jacksonville HVAC experts at J&W Heating and Air to schedule repairs. Cold zones signify a problem and should be dealt with quickly to avoid unnecessary damage.

4 – Old HVAC System

HVAC systems are built to last for 15 to 20 years. When your unit approaches that age, you may begin experiencing problems. While repairs sometimes work, an older unit may need to be replaced in order to properly heat your home. Not only will a new system have fewer issues and maintain better internal temperature control, but new HVAC systems are more energy efficient than older models. When you install a new HVAC unit, your monthly energy bill should go down.

When selecting a new HVAC unit, work with a trusted HVAC professional to select the best brand and model for your home. The size of your home will determine the size of the HVAC unit that will work best for you. Select a trusted brand with a solid warranty for the best results.

5 – Poor Insulation

If your home is no longer staying warm, even when your HVAC system is running constantly, your insulation may be the problem. Before you purchase a new HVAC system, have the insulation in your home inspected? Over time, insulation compacts reduce their effectiveness. Also, insulation can become damaged from water leakage or pests. While insulation is made to last for many years, additional insulation almost always creates energy efficiency.

At J&W Heating and Air we offer blown-in fiberglass insulation for attics. When you schedule HVAC maintenance, ask for a free estimate for attic insulation. When your HVAC unit doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home warm, you extend the life of your unit.

Implement Ways to Save

While HVAC units must be replaced every 15 to 20 years, with smart strategies you can prevent repairs and extend the life of your unit. First, notice the common winter HVAC issues and quickly rectify them. Also, be strategic in your care and maintenance. Regularly clean your air filters, schedule preventative maintenance, clean air vents, upgrade to a smart thermostat and install new insulation.

A well-cared-for home needs fewer unexpected repairs. Work with the HVAC experts at J&W Heating and Air to keep your HVAC unit in good working order. We serve clients in Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding areas with HVAC preventative maintenance, repairs, installation, and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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