Just like the summer, winter is peak time for your HVAC usage and therefore your power bill to increase. Here in Lucas Texas, we never know how cold our winters will be, but we can offer you some advice on winter HVAC preparation. First of all, make sure you have clean filters. A clean filter is an inexpensive way to help your system run at peak performance. It simply allows your HVAC system to work efficiently. Confirm that your heat pump is not blocked by debris or random objects. You want to give air the chance to circulate through it without any obstructions. It is a good idea to have an HVAC technician come by before it gets really cold and have them perform a routine maintenance inspection on your system. They will pay special attention to the heat pump, making sure the coils are clean and everything is in working order. Consider cleaning your heating duct to make sure it is working efficiently and has no holes, or parts that have become disconnected. Take a look at your thermostat, it may be time to replace the batteries. If you have a newer system and can control your thermostat via a smartphone app, make sure the app is updated. Try adjusting the temperature while you are away from the house and take note of what setting makes your homes climate comfortable upon your arrival. Remember, the first time your heating system is run for the season it may produce a slight burning smell. This is normal, but if it continues or gets worse, be sure to call your HVAC technician.