A new season means a brand new HVAC maintenance routine. Check this guide to learn the top HVAC maintenance tips for the Fall.
During these warm August days, we all wish to hang onto the summer season as long as possible. Then one day you start needing a jacket, and it’s all downhill from there.
Before that happens, make sure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape. At Eyman, our HVAC technicians get last-minute calls every year on the first cold night of fall. Many homeowners don’t realize their heating isn’t working until its a necessity.
The good news is that most of those problems are preventable, but only if you’re keeping up with your HVAC maintenance. As fall sets in, follow these upcoming crucial steps.
Reprogram Your Thermostat
This sounds obvious, but this short reminder can save you from an uncomfortably hot home, high heating bills, or worse.
If you set your thermostat to support a high temperature for the summer, adjust it as soon as outdoor temperatures begin falling consistently. Don’t be afraid to turn it down little-by-little as the weather outside gets cooler.
Giving your HVAC system a consistent temperature to maintain will prevent overuse. Putting too much strain on your system will send energy bills through the roof and damage your system over time.
Get a System Cleaning
Everyone talks about Spring cleaning, but Fall is another important time to detail your home. This is especially true for your HVAC system.
Over the summer, your HVAC system accumulates dust, allergens, and sometimes mold or mildew. When these particles are in your ductwork and your heating system starts up for the Fall, they’ll end up in the air you breathe.
When debris is in the mechanical area of your HVAC system, there are added consequences. Even small amounts of dust can make your system less efficient and damage sensitive pieces, such as the motor.
Hire an HVAC technician to clean your entire system. You can head into the fall feeling confident that both your system is safe and that your air will be clean.
Make an Outdoor Cleaning Schedule
You can’t limit your fall maintenance to the inside of your home. Falling leaves can cause serious damage to any outdoor HVAC units.
Leaves and other debris can damage your system and lower its efficiency. More importantly, they’ll put you at risk for a fire to start.
Do a thorough cleaning before the season begins. Then, put a task on your calendar every week or two to clear any leaves you find in the outdoor unit.
In addition to the inside of the unit, keep the area around it clean as well. Make sure nothing flammable is nearby and clean up weeds and overgrowth.
Make Sure All Heating Sources Are Clear
Over the summer, when radiators and other heating sources are unused, many people store items on or around them. That’s all well and good, until you turn on the radiator and it starts a fire.
Check any area where heat comes into your home; make sure nothing flammable is within several feet.
If you use space heaters to supplement your HVAC system, it’s also a good idea to check them for damage. Make sure the cables are in good shape and aren’t fraying.
Read Up on the Warning Signs
One of the most important things you can do in support of keeping your HVAC system running, is to educate yourself.
For most HVAC problems, there will be small symptoms before a major issue or the system stops working altogether. Know the smells, sounds, and signals of a HVAC problem, so you can be on the lookout.
It’s especially important to pay attention the first time you use your heat for the season. There’s plenty that can go wrong over the several months, since its last been used.
If you notice anything strange about your HVAC system, call for service right away. Some issues can send dangerous chemicals and pollutants into your air if you don’t address them. Others can even spark a fire.
At the least, catching a problem early will save you from an after-hours service call in the future.
Change Your HVAC Filter
This is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked, ways to keep your HVAC running well.
Your filter operates by trapping pollutants, dirt, and allergens inside itself. Those particles add up over time so less clean air progressively flows through the filter. The result is that your system has to work harder, which can lead to damage and high energy bills.
A rule of thumb is to change your HVAC filter at least every three months. Sometimes filters fill up sooner than this, though. In that case, it’s a good idea to remove and check your filter every month. When it starts getting darker in color, it’s time for a new filter.
Many homeowners choose to do this themselves. If you aren’t comfortable with it, you can always call a HVAC technician for help.
Schedule a Fall Inspection
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner is assuming that if you don’t see a problem, nothing is wrong.
To prevent major HVAC issues, it’s a good idea to get an inspection a few times each year. Try to get a professional inspection at the start of air conditioning season and the start of heating season.
During this inspection, a technician will check every part of your system to look for damage and debris. Most homeowners find it easiest to have a technician do both an inspection and cleaning at the same time.
Keeping Up with Your HVAC Maintenance
The HVAC system is something many homeowners take for granted. We assume we’ll always be able to maintain a comfortable temperature in our homes. That is, until the luxury stops, and you’re left in the heat or the cold.
The Fall HVAC maintenance tips above can help keep your system in tip-top shape.
If you need help, call Eyman at (402) 731-2727 to schedule maintenance with our experienced HVAC technicians today.