It's the "most wonderful time of the year," and while we typically don't experience a "White Christmas" in the triangle, the magic of the holiday season is definitely upon us. If you're many of our customers, you've spent the past few days decorating your home and spending money like it's 1999 to prepare for Christmas morning. However, have you paid any attention to your HVAC system? While you've likely turned on the heat (because BURRR it's cold outside), you may not have considered the role your HVAC plays during these winter months. With that in mind, today we'll discuss 6 Holiday HVAC tips for a safer Christmas Vacation.
Holiday HVAC Tip #1 Check Your Air Filters
While COVID-19 may reduce the number of people visiting your home this holiday season, you should still check your air filters to make sure they haven't become full of contaminants. During colder days, most of us tend to use our HVAC system more heavily than on milder days, which can dirty up our filters quicker than usual. Be sure to replace your air filters at least every 3 months and have extras ready just in case.
Holiday HVAC Tip #2 Avoid Decorating the Vents
In addition to checking your air filters, also inspect your vents, registers and return air grilles to make sure that they aren't blocked or closed. These should never be blocked or closed shut as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC system and could cause the system to overheat.
On a similar note, while you're decorating, avoid decorating on or too close to your vents. While we completely recognize that some vents take up a lot of precious "real estate" within a room, they are an essential part of your home's operating system and should be treated as such. In addition to moving any rugs, furniture, and other items away from the vents, also make sure that your Christmas tree isn't in front of or on top of a vent. Having anything in front of your vent is bad for your HVAC system, but if you have a live tree in front of a vent, it will cause the tree to dry out prematurely which is also a fire hazard.
Holiday HVAC Tip #3 Declutter Area around Heating Equipment
In the process of decorating your home for the holidays, avoid storing unused items near your furnace or other heating equipment. In fact, if you've been storing anything near your furnace, use this time to declutter that space. You should never store items directly by the furnace, especially anything that is flammable such as rags, wood, gasoline, paint, solvent, cleaners, etc.
Holiday HVAC Tip #4 Don't Forget Your Smoke Detector
Along the same lines as the previous holiday HVAC tip, now is a great time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We find that some of our customers use this time of year to replace the batteries in their detectors. While it's up to you when you replace your batteries, we do recommend that you test your batteries each month using the unit's test button at a minimum to prevent a 2 am beep alert. Also us this time to vacuum away any dust around the detectors.
Holiday HVAC Tip #5 Monitor the Thermostat
While COVID-19 may limit the partying in your home this season, that doesn't mean that your parents or your "country cousin" won't stop in for some yuletide greetings. As such, keep an eye on your thermostat. Just because you've set it, doesn't mean that some helpful family member won't tamper with it during their visit. And, if you're trying to save money on your heating bill, a little adjustment to your thermostat could cost you a bundle. So, while you have company, you may want to tape a little note on your thermostat or have a talk with your guests to let them know that only you should adjust the temperature.
Holiday HVAC Tip #6 Watch the Weather
We typically do not have to worry about ice or snow in December, but it's 2020 so anything could happen. For example, this morning the temperatures were definitely below freezing. Had it been raining, we easily could have had icy conditions. With that in mind, keep an eye on the weather this holiday season. Should it snow or get icy, make sure to keep your exterior vents clear. If flue pipes are blocked, it could cause carbon monoxide to leak indoors.
Also, make sure to keep your chimneys clear so that Santa can easily get in and out on Christmas Eve!
Need HVAC Service or Repair?
Be sure to give Choice HVAC a call at 919-435-2711. We'd be happy to come over and take a look at your system before the holiday hussle.