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Before winter makes matters worse, give your HVAC a solid cleaning.

Above the Door Patio Vent

If you neglect to clean and repair your HVAC system once fall rolls around in preparation for a deep freeze, you may need to replace it once spring arrives. It may seem counterintuitive to put air conditioner maintenance on your list of things to do before gearing up for winter, but taking care of your entire indoor climate control system should be a top priority.

Basic HVAC maintenance isn't something that you need to fear. In fact, its not that dissimilar to cleaning out appliances like your vacuum cleaner or your laundry dryer, just on a larger scale. Essentially, you want to insure that any of the dust accumulated while being used heavily during one of Virginia's notoriously humid summers doesn't get stuck-on during the winter when rain and snow batter your outside unit.

Begin your winterizing by cleaning the air ducts throughout your home. This will not only make sure that the quality of air pumped through your HVAC is pure, but it will also improve flow and make your system more energy efficient.

You should change the air filter in your HVAC for the same reason as your ducts. Don't think that simply hosing down your filter will do the trick, as these pieces take a heavy beating during the summer, especially in the Mid Atlantic, and you'll only be shortening the lifespan of your HVAC if you skimp out on purchasing clean accessories.

Make sure there isn't any clutter around your HVAC, whether that be overgrown brush, trash from the summer or equipment that you used during the summer and fall to keep the yard clean. If the vents are obstructed, your HVAC won't perform at its optimal level.

If while you're cleaning your HVAC system for the winter you come across issues that seem beyond your capabilities, contact a Fairfax, VA HVAC repair specialist to take a look at it before winter weather makes the problem worse.