man changing dirty furnace air filter

How to Get Your Heater Ready for the Cold

As the weather in San Antonio starts to cool down, it's time to start thinking about getting your home's heating system ready for winter. Taking some time now to prepare your system will help ensure that it operates smoothly and efficiently all season long. Plus, it could save you some money on your energy bills.

Below, we’ll provide you with some tips to prepare your heating system and increase your home’s energy efficiency this winter.

1. Schedule a tune-up for your heating system.

Just like your car, your home's heating system needs regular maintenance to run at its best. Schedule a tune-up with a qualified HVAC technician before winter begins. They'll clean and inspect your unit, and make any necessary adjustments to the equipment. This will help ensure that your unit is operating at peak efficiency, which can save you money on your energy bills.

While tuning up your heating equipment, your technician will also let you know if they discover any potential problems that may lead to a system failure. This will often allow you to nip a problem in the bud before it becomes a more costly and extensive issue.

2. Replace your HVAC system’s air filter.

Your furnace filter should be replaced at least once every three months—and more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to, leading to costly energy bills and even a system breakdown. Checking and replacing your filter regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep your furnace running efficiently all winter long.

3. Check your thermostat settings.

During the winter, you'll want to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, but you don't want to waste money by overheating it, either. The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re at home and lower while you’re away to save money while not sacrificing comfort during winter.

4. Reverse your ceiling fans.

Did you know your ceiling fans can help you keep warm so that you rely on your heater less? Most ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction of the blades. During the winter, you'll want to set them to spin clockwise so that they push warm air down from the ceiling instead of circulating it around the room.

5. Insulate your home properly.

Proper insulation is key to keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Check around your windows and doors for any gaps or cracks where heat might be escaping. Also, take a look at your attic and make sure that it's properly insulated. Adding extra insulation now will pay off in lower energy bills all winter long. It can also help protect your plumbing pipes during the occasional cold snap.

6. Bleed the radiators.

If your home has radiators, it's important to bleed them at least once a year to release any trapped air bubbles. This will help improve heat transfer and prevent your system from having to work harder than necessary. To bleed a radiator, simply turn off the power to the unit, wait for it to cool down, then use a radiator key to open the bleeder valve at the top of the radiator. Once the air has been released and only water is coming out of the valve, close it back up and turn the power back on.


By taking some time now to prepare your home's heating system for winter, you can help ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently all season long. Plus, you might even save yourself some money on your energy bills. So don't wait - use these tips to get started today!

Need to schedule a heating service? At Zimmermann Air Conditioning & Heating, we’re proud to provide high-quality heating maintenance, repairs, and installations throughout San Antonio: (210) 880-0885.