Best Winterizing and Summerizing Tips for Your Home: Staying Healthy

Welcome “Old Man Winter”.  Well, it is officially winter here in Pennsylvania. Yesterday we had ground covering of snow and this morning we have sun and no snow. This is typical of Southwest we are pulling out our “Eskimo Winter Coats, Gloves, Muffler and Hats”...Don’t you just Love Winter? I really do like it, I like sitting in front of the fireplace as it is snowing and have a nice glass of wine. Listen to some Christmas music and look around and say, “This Is Home” and “I Am So Blessed”. I had some friends call me this week for advice and a name of a reputable HVAC company. Their heating has suddenly sporadically quit. They have small children and a huge dog. As luck would have it I have a Niece whose husband owns it HVAC company in Pittsburgh. Hopefully it is nothing serious, and they will Not have to replace their present unit. What you know it, Murphy’s Law: “Your furnace/air conditioner will stop working on the coldest day in winter and the hottest day in summer”.

With that happening. I thought it was a good idea to do a blog post on preventative measures, and some sound advice from the experts. I have quite a lot of experience with having to replace heating and air-conditioning for various reasons.  With what happened to my friends I thought it would be a good idea to do a Blog Post on preventive measures and some sound advice from the Experts. 

Before you pull out the box of holiday decorations, take some time to make simple changes inside your home to prepare for winter weather. These changes will also reduce your energy bill and cut costs in surprising ways. When you’re heating and air conditioner breaks, it becomes an emergency that disrupt your entire household. The goal is to repair a replace the unit as quickly as possible, but Care should still be taken to find the most reliable and trustworthy HVAC contractor for your project.this helps ensure that your home is restored to its original condition as quickly as possible. Hiring a contractor is a big decision. Ask friends for who they are using, ask a real estate agent, above all else sure that they are licensed and accredited and have good reviews. 

In The Home….

  • Get a HVAC tuneup
  • Flip/reverse your ceiling fan blades over, this allows them to push the air down.  Warm air rises, so as the warm air is trying to leave, the fan blades will push it back down into the room.
  • Set your programmable thermostat 1-2 degrees lower than normal.  See how you adjust to it over a week or so.  While you are in bed, set it 1-2 degrees lower than during the day, and throw an extra blanket on the bed.
  • Place rocks in your shoe tray.  This allows your boots to dry quicker and make less mess.
  • Add a blanket or two the couch and some extra to your beds.  It’s always nice to cuddle up with  a blanket and mug of hot chocolate.
  • Clean the chimney.
  • Have a bag of extra rags handy.  If your pipes freeze, you can wrap the pipes in rags to keep them from leaking or bursting.  This will help warm them up.

However, I know that there are things we need to be doing to get ready for winter. Specifically, there are things that we need to be concerned about when it comes to our HVAC system.
Did You Know…..On average, replacing a HVAC system costs upwards of $5000. If the unit and ductwork needs replacing, you’re often looking at costs of more than $10,000. This is a lot of money to spend on a home improvement, and it’s no wonder that many people put off replacing their HVAC system.
However, there could be a time when it becomes necessary to replace your HVAC system. These systems aren’t designed to run forever and can become inefficient over time. But just how do you know when your HVAC system is at the end of its life? Don’t ignore the warning signs like my friends did….or you will be left out in the cold!

Schedule your furnace or heating system to be serviced before the winter season.
Replace your filter monthly to reduce energy costs and keep your system running smoothly.
Consider installing a new programmable thermostat to allow you to adjust or schedule temperatures and save on your energy bill.
Get a carbon monoxide alarm. These inexpensive devices could very well save your life. Be certain to get one that is battery-operated, because the most likely time you will need it is when the power is out. If you’re using a secondary heat method or a generator, make certain you have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

It Keeps Breaking Down

This is the most telltale sign that your HVAC system needs replacing. HVAC systems can stop working for various reasons and most of these reasons are easily fixable.However, a HVAC system keeps breaking down, it’s a sign that there is too much wear and tear. Constantly getting problems fixed could get expensive and could be inconvenient, so it makes sense to invest in new HVAC at this point. 

Your Energy Bills KEEP Going Up

Dirty filters and other issues can result in HVAC systems using up more energy than is necessary to operate. This can lead to high energy bills. The more wear and tear your HVAC system experiences, the harder it will have to work to achieve the right temperature in your home and the higher your bills will become. Replacing your HVAC system could be a good investment, because your energy bills will be immediately lower. In fact, modern HVAC systems are so much more efficient than older systems that you could end up seeing huge savings each year.  

Never Changing Your Air Filter

An air filter’s job is to clean the air that circulates through your heating and cooling system.  When air filters get dirty, they restrict air flow to your HVAC system which makes it work harder and longer (leading to higher utility bills!). They also have a max holding capacity so once yours is full, the bacteria, allergens, and dust can come through into your air supply.
When selecting an air filter for your HVAC system, you should consider the size and type of filter necessary for your particular system, as well as the environment that your system works in. Additionally, make sure to research any ratings, such as MERV ratings, and hire an HVAC professional if you need additional help.
TIDBIT What is an HVAC System? HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Selecting the Right Air Filter

The type of filter typically comes down to either disposable or reusable filters. Disposable filters require regular replacement and tend to be more affordable but can cause a slight drop in system efficiency due to buildup over time. Reusable filters need much less frequent replacing and can help with increasingly efficient systems depending on how often they are washed, although they may have a higher upfront cost than disposable filters.

It’s Over 20 Years Old

Modern HVAC systems are being built to last longer. However, on average, most systems have a life of 15 to 25 years before needing to be replaced. By this point, there is usually so much wear and tear that repairs are not financially worthwhile. Consider whether your HVAC system is over 20 years old and whether it could be time to get a new system installed. It’s worth noting that if you’ve been regularly servicing and maintaining your HVAC system and have not had any problems, you may be able to get a few more years out of your system. However, once your HVAC system exceeds 20 years and problems start occurring, you may not want to delay a replacement for too long. 

The Air Quality Is Bad

Fluid leaks, faulty ducts and blocked filters in old HVAC systems can all result in poor air quality. If you’re noticing that unpleasant odors are wafting from your HVAC system, it could be a sign that the air quality is being negatively affected. Excess humidity could also be a sign that the air quality is not good. Cleaning filters and fixing leaks may sort the problem, but it’s possible that it could be a combination of a lot of problems as a result of your HVAC system nearing the end of its life. Replacing your system could make the air quality cleaner and healthier. 


To sum it all up, taking care of your home’s HVAC system is vital for maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment. When facing issues with your heating and air conditioning, it’s crucial to address them promptly. This blog post emphasizes the significance of finding a reputable and trustworthy HVAC contractor to ensure swift and reliable repairs or replacements.
Recognizing signs such as frequent breakdowns, high energy bills, neglected air filter changes, an aged system, or poor air quality can guide you in making informed decisions about whether it’s time to consider a new HVAC system. Prioritizing regular maintenance and seeking professional advice when needed are essential steps in prolonging the life of your HVAC system and ensuring a more comfortable and efficient home for you and your loved ones.
Remember, by being proactive and attentive to your HVAC system’s needs, you’re not just ensuring a more comfortable living space; you’re also investing in the well-being and health of your household. Choose wisely when selecting an HVAC contractor and consider these signs to make informed choices about repairs or replacements that will ultimately benefit your home and family for years to come. 

I hope that you gained some knowledge about the most important piece of equipment in your home through this post.  These are insightful and informative tips that will not only save you money and angst going forward but it will also improve your home and families health.

As always, Thank You for stopping by at The City Cottage, I love when we can visit. 

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use my self and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you I may earn a small commission. Read our full affiliate disclosure and privacy policy.

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