As the weather turns colder out, thoughts naturally turn to fall. We rely on our HVAC systems to keep our homes comfortable throughout the year, and winter will be upon us soon. So, early fall is pretty much the perfect season to get your HVAC system ready for the heating season ahead. The last thing that you need is a heating failure when the weather is cold outside. Many people leave their preparations to the last minute or they don’t prepare at all, and this creates a significant demand for skilled HVAC specialists. In this article, we will take a closer look at seven tips that will help you get your HVAC system ready for fall and winter.
- Change Your Air Filters
Every HVAC system relies on a steady and regular supply of air to work correctly. All the air circulated throughout the home will pass through the air filter at some point, and this can occur multiple times in a single day. The air filter catches debris gathered in the air and prevents it from entering the HVAC system. Many people believe that the air filter is designed to clean the air, but this is incorrect. The primary function of the air filter is to protect sensitive components from damage caused by dust, debris, hair, and other materials. The air filters should be kept clean or replaced entirely at the start of each new cooling or heating season. When the air filter is clogged, the system needs to work harder in order to compensate, and this places the components under additional stress. This can lead to frequent repairs, damaged components, and in extreme cases, a total system failure. The full directions on changing the air filter for your heating and cooling equipment can be found in the owner’s manual. Ensure that you use the correct filter, the model can be found on the rim, and they can be purchased in bulk for additional savings.
- Upgrade Your Thermostat
Many people forget to adjust their thermostat settings for fall and winter. This can waste a great deal of energy and money, and it highlights the need for a better solution. Upgrading your existing thermostat to a programmable or even better a smart model is a great way to get more control over your heating and cooling. During the fall months, the temperature can fluctuate a great deal, and a thermostat that you can control more precisely can really make a difference. A smart thermostat is a great way to get control remotely via a handy app that you can install on your favorite mobile device. Users can track energy use in real time, make temperature adjustments, and ensure that their home is at the optimal temperature when they return home.
- Check the Heat Registers
The heat registers are vitally important. This is the end point of any air duct system. If the registers are dirty, dust, or blocked, the distribution of treated air will be compromised. This will lead to less efficient heating, and the indoor air quality (IAQ) may be impacted. Clean the registers with a vacuum and ensure that they are not covered by drapes or tall pieces of furniture. Don’t close the registers in an effort to save money. This is ineffective, and it only causes your system to work harder and consume more energy. If you have rooms that are unoccupied open the registers a little to allow those rooms to be heated, and you’re bills will be lower. This may seem counterintuitive, but it really works.
- Clean the Outdoor Unit
Over the course of the summer, the outdoor unit can become dirty and covered with debris. This will impact the performance, and it may lead to damage and an unexpected repair bill. Check the fan and grate and make sure that they are free from dirt and debris. If you plan on cleaning the unit yourself, ensure that the power is turned off first. If you notice any signs of obvious damage, contact a local HVAC specialist and get them to check the unit for you. If you’re not confident working on heating and cooling equipment, get them to clean it for you as part of an annual maintenance visit.
- Evaluate Your Insulation
If you’ve noticed that your energy bills seem to be creeping upwards, it may be time to evaluate your insulation needs. Adding insulation is a fantastic way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, and it is passive in nature, so it doesn’t add to your energy bills. Key areas include the attic, doors, windows, crawl spaces, and the heating system. If you’re not sure how to proceed, contact your local HVAC specialist and ask them about a home energy audit for your home.
- Test Your Furnace
This may seem strange, but many people don’t even test their furnaces before the cold weather arrives! Make sure you don’t fall into this category, turn the furnace on a few times and let it run for a short while to make sure it’s working as intended. If the furnace isn’t working, contact your local HVAC specialist and ask them to take a look at it for you.
- Arrange an HVAC System Inspection
Let’s face it, most of us are not technically minded, and it takes months of training to learn how to work on an HVAC system safely. The best way to get your system ready for the season ahead is to schedule an inspection. The technician can then inspect the equipment, carry out essential cleaning, lubricate moving parts, and make any necessary adjustments. A good HVAC inspection will include the heat exchanger, safety switch, burners, electrical wiring, the draft inducer, and many other critical components. This will improve the heating performance and energy efficiency leading to lower heating bills during fall and winter months.
If you’re interested in getting your heating system prepared for fall, get in touch with your local HVAC specialists today.