Though winter in Decatur, AL and the surrounding areas isn’t as severe as it is in many other regions, when it arrives, you’ll need to use your furnace, boiler, or heat pump to warm your home.

In Decatur, the average low during the coldest part of the year is just a couple degrees above freezing, while the average high is only around 50 degrees. This means that you’re likely to run your heating on most days during the winter, which includes normal wear and tear.

Like any other equipment, your HVAC system needs maintenance and care, but the good news is that if you’re looking to save money, you can do many simple tasks yourself. Preparing your system for the Decatur winter can be done with the following steps:

Step One: Run A Test. No one wants to wake up to a home that’s at 34 degrees (Decatur’s average low) in the middle of January. Before winter arrives, test your heating system by turning on the thermostat, and ensuring it runs for a few minutes. Some furnaces may require a few minutes to warm up before they begin blowing air.

Make sure your system can reach the right temperature, and that it does so in the normal amount of time.

Another rule of thumb is to test your furnace three times before winter arrives, just to reduce the chance of issues occurring when you want them the least.

Step Two: Clean Vents and Filters. Did you notice a musty or dusty smell coming from your vents when first using your furnace? The smell of burning dust is normal when first using your furnace after it’s been off for some time. This smell should dissipate quickly, but any foul, rotten, musty, or chemical smells should be checked out immediately by a professional.

Regardless, clearing your vents and changing your furnace filter is a must. Ensure vents aren’t obstructed as well, or you could end up with a cold room or floor of your house.

Step Three: Set Your System’s Program Now. Now is also a good time to check your thermostat batteries, and if you have a smart thermostat, to set a program for the winter for maximum savings. Depending on your system, you may be able to set climate zones, directing more heat to the lower floors of your home and less to the upper floor. After all, heat rises on its own, reducing your heating costs. You may also be able to set temperature differences versus day and night, with night temperatures being up to 10 degrees lower than your daytime temp.

Step Four: Check for Drafts. A draft can force your furnace to work harder, even in the Decatur area. Doors, windows, and vents can all lead to drafts in your home. Some drafts can be plugged easily during Decatur’s cooler months, while others may require repairs.

Step Five: Schedule a Furnace Inspection. Having an inspection done of your system is relatively inexpensive and can save you money during the cooler months. Your Decatur-area HVAC company will be happy to check your furnace and repair any issues early.

Schedule Your Appointment Today. Southeastern Mechanical Services serves the Decatur, AL area all year long, and we’re committed to keeping your heating system running through the winter without issues. Contact us to have your inspection done today, and with any other issues you may have.