Preparing for Winter: HVAC Maintenance or Choosing a New Installation

While we’re fortunate to enjoy mild weather for most of the year in and around Augusta, GA, winters can get downright chilly. Is your heating system ready to deal with bone-chilling temperatures? Whether you need timely HVAC maintenance or a new installation, here’s how to prepare your home for the wintry weather to come.

Evaluate Your Heating System’s Performance

Think back to last winter for a moment. Did your heating system provide the enveloping warmth you crave when temperatures tumble? If you were fairly satisfied with how it functioned, a preseason checkup might be all your heater requires to keep everyone warm and cozy.

If, on the other hand, your system couldn’t maintain comfortable temperatures no matter how high you cranked up the thermostat, it’s time to consider a new HVAC installation. Heaters that drive up your utility bills are also good candidates for replacement. Improved efficiency ratings make today’s heating systems an investment that rewards you with lower energy expenses year after year.

Professional HVAC Maintenance Plans

Annual HVAC tune-ups provided by a qualified technician help ensure your heating and cooling systems perform well year-round. Enrolling in a program like Doc’s Comfort Agreement offers you a cost-effective way to ensure your heater gets the regularly scheduled care it needs. Here’s a sample of the tasks we perform during each prearranged visit.

  • Clean burners and check fuel connections
  • Clean soot and debris from combustion chamber
  • Inspect exhaust pipes for leaks and repair as needed
  • Check heat exchanger for proper operation
  • Test burner operation for safety and efficiency
  • Check and adjust fuel-burning manifold pressure

DIY HVAC Maintenance Tasks

The top two causes of heating system failure are dirt and neglect. In addition to regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance, here are several actions you can take yourself to keep everything operating efficiently.

  • Check the heater’s filter every month and clean or change it whenever it’s dirty.
  • Help keep the warm air flowing by removing and cleaning floor registers in the fall.
  • For safety’s sake, maintain a minimum of 2-3 feet of open space around your HVAC equipment.

Explore Your HVAC Installation Options

When professional HVAC maintenance isn’t enough to keep your heater running effectively and efficiently, it’s time to consider replacing the system. Upgrading to a new furnace or heat pump is a great way to improve your comfort and save money on home heating. As a Trane Comfort Specialist, Doc Savage Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. offers heaters with a proven record of reliability. Call us to schedule a consultation, and we’ll help you select the product that best fits your needs.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Whether you opt for a gas furnace or an all-season heat pump, how efficiently the model operates is a primary consideration. Energy efficiency ratings compare the equipment’s heating or cooling output to its energy consumption. The higher the rating, the less you’ll pay for heating costs. Here’s a quick explanation of the three types of energy ratings used to rate residential heating systems.

  • The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating measures the energy efficiency for fuel-burning furnaces
  • The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures how efficiently a heat pump operates during the cold-weather season.
  • The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) calculates the efficiency of heat pumps when running in cooling mode.

Advanced Features

Today’s modern heating systems also feature technologies that enhance your comfort while lowering your energy expenses. For example, heat pumps with variable-speed compressor motors adjust operation to match your comfort requirements. They use less energy when heating demands are low, then ramp up to full power on the coldest nights of the year. Changing fan speeds to match your needs, furnaces with variable-speed blowers offer similar benefits.

Since 1977, the team at Doc Savage Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has been proud to provide the greater Augusta region with HVAC solutions for year-round comfort. For more information, explore our heating services section or call us today.

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