Winter here in Tampa Bay is … well, it’s not exactly bone-chilling! At night we can sometimes have temperatures down in the 50s, and there are more rainy days. But for the most part, heating needs for the winter are less complex and urgent than in parts of the country buried under snow for most of the season.
You still may need professional HVAC services in Tampa, FL during the winter, and with the proper preparation, you can enjoy a season with minimal heater issues. Most importantly, you’ll save money thanks to efficient HVAC performance—and that includes your air conditioner, which will still put in work during the winter. Below we have some tips for getting your house ready for this time of year so you enjoy maximum comfort, HVAC energy efficiency, and HVAC performance.
Change the air filter
Leaving an HVAC air filter in place is the #1 reason for inferior heating and cooling performance. Too often homeowners forget to regularly put a new filter in place, and the old one becomes so jammed with debris that it cuts off airflow through the system and forces the blower motor to drain more power.
The air filter for your HVAC system is either housed behind the grill of the return air vent or on the HVAC cabinet next to the air handler. Slide out the filter and put in a new one (they’re inexpensive to purchase at home supply stores). We recommend you change the filter every 1 to 3 months, with regular checks on it to see when the best time is for a new one.
Schedule HVAC maintenance
Regular HVAC maintenance is something to arrange twice annually: once in the spring, and then in fall (or early winter, considering our weather). This is not only to ensure your heating system is in good shape and will run safely, but it’s overall good for the HVAC system since the technicians check on the blower fan and motor and ventilation which both the AC and the heater use. If you have a heat pump for both heating and cooling, it still needs this second check-up because it’s already put in a lot of hard work through summer and fall.
Change the thermostat programming
Here’s something else homeowners overlook: changing the programming on their programmable thermostat to reflect the difference in seasons as well as the change in daylight hours. When the temperatures are cooler, we recommend keeping the thermostat set around 68°F during the day, then lowering it a further 8°F at night. Change the setting times to best reflect your patterns during the season.
Have any lingering AC troubles cared for
The air conditioner may need to come to work at any time during our heating season. Please don’t ignore indications of AC trouble because you expect to use it less during the next few months—this can cause damage to the system and shorten its service life. If the AC and heater are in the same cabinet (a common set up), issues with the air handler will affect both. Make sure your system has any repairs it needs before the end of the year.