8 Things to Consider When Preparing Your HVAC for the Fall
Don’t let the lingering warm days fool you — fall is coming. The leaves will begin changing and the night time temperatures will begin to sink. And before you know it, you’re going to want to flip your HVAC from air conditioning to heat.
This might seem like a simple process, but there are things you can do to give your HVAC system the best chance at properly heating your home throughout the fall and winter.
Our HVAC systems have a lot to do. It’s not easy to maintain a comfortable temperature when the outdoor air approaches the freezing point. The good news is that there are specific actions you can take to give yourself the best chance at making it through the winter without experiencing heating issues.
Here are 8 specific things you can do to prepare your HVAC system for the fall:
- Locate and Seal Leaks
- Clean Your Vents
- Change Your Air Filters
- Test Your Heat
- Keep Your HVAC Unit Clean
- Adjust Your Thermostat
- Consider Upgrading Your HVAC
- Call a Professional For Preventative Maintenance
1. Locate and Seal Leaks
The battle between your HVAC and the outside temperatures creates a difficult situation for your system. The existence of direct lines of entry for outdoor air means your HVAC system is going to have to work even harder.
Inspect areas that are prone to air leaks like windows and seams along exterior doors. Caulk or otherwise seal any areas that allow a direct flow of outside air.
2. Clean Your Vents
HVAC systems operate through a series of ducts and vents. Any obstructions in these can lead to overworking your HVAC system. You should inspect the vents throughout your home for any blockages.
And even if there aren’t complete obstructions to air flow, you should clean these vents. Any dust, dirt, or otherwise compromised vents can lead to eventual clogs or blow unhealthy air into your home.
3. Change Your Air Filter
Along these lines, be sure to check the air filter just inside your air intake vent. This filter should be changed out regularly, but it’s a good idea to swap it out as the seasons change. A new filter will not only ensure that you are starting the season with a fresh start, but it will remove any allergens that built up during the summer months.
The process of swapping out your air filter is very easy and it can save your HVAC system from overworking itself.
4. Test Your Heat
Don’t wait for the first chilly night to flip your HVAC system over to heat. You want to be sure it’s going to work the first time you need it, so test it out early.
You’re probably going to notice a strange smell as the heating coils burn off accumulated dust and other particles that have gathered since last use. That’s okay. But call a technician if it doesn’t go away in a few minutes.
5. Keep Your HVAC Unit Clean
Fall means the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. These leaves will mean you’ll have some yard work to do, but that’s not the only area you should keep clean.
The HVAC unit outside your home has vents on all sides, including the top. These vents are essential to proper operation of your unit. Fallen leaves and branches can clog these vents and lead to issues. Be sure to periodically check your unit and clean off any debris that has accumulated.
6. Adjust Your Thermostat
A comfortable household temperature in the summer is probably going to be different from that of the winter. Adjusting the temperature based on the season can lower your utility bills when done properly.
Set the temperature of your heater at a comfortable level, but don’t make it too high. This will save your HVAC system from overworking itself, and it will also save you in monthly bills.
7. Consider Upgrading Your HVAC
Fall is a great time to replace your HVAC system. Is your unit getting old? Is it in need of repairs? HVAC technicians aren’t as busy in the fall as they are in the summer which can occasionally save you some money on installation and the unit itself.
The “5,000 Rule” is a general way to tell if you should repair your unit or replace it. Multiply the cost of a potential repair by the age of the system. And if the number is over 5,000, go ahead and replace your system.
For example, a 10-year-old unit that needs a $600 dollar repair (10 x 600 = 6,000) should be replaced.
8. Call a Professional For Preventative Maintenance
The best thing you can do for your HVAC system is to have a professional check and service it. This is a great idea for both of the transitional seasons (spring and fall) but it should be done at least once a year.
This gives you the peace of mind you need to comfortably rely on your HVAC system throughout the winter. It also helps you find any small repairs that might need to be done before they become large repairs.
Air Conditioning Service, Inc. has everything you need to make sure your HVAC system keeps you warm all winter.