Fall brings unpredictable weather conditions and fluctuating temperatures. If you want to keep your home cozy and comfortable, ensure that your HVAC unit functions properly without any glitches. The last thing you’d want is a broken furnace in the middle of the cold weather.
Since HVAC accounts for nearly 48% of total energy usage in typical American homes, you can control this expense with preventive maintenance. Here are some fall HVAC maintenance tips to keep your unit up and running this fall.
Check and Change the Air Filters
The air filters in your HVAC systems remove dirt, pollutants, dust, and particulate matter from the air supply before spreading it across your home. Over time, increased dust and pollen in the outdoors clog the air filters and restrict their efficiency.
Even a minimal buildup shouldn’t go unaddressed if you want your unit healthy. Remember, your unit won’t stop harmful allergens and pollutants from entering your home without a clean filter. It harms the unit, but above all, it leads to allergic reactions.
The best way to avoid unwanted repairs and health complications is to check and change filters before the winter. If the buildup is significant, consider replacement to keep the unit running smoothly. Ideally, you should check the filters once a month as a part of HVAC maintenance and change them before they get too clogged.
Clean the Area to Avoid Animal Infestation
During the warm season, foliage and weeds grow around the unit and attract nasty pests. Clear away this area by clipping the grass and raking the leaves. Don’t let ants, bugs, or other pesky critters hunker down under the unit during the cold season. They may get inside the compressor, vents, or ducts of the units and cause severe damage.
Mice, squirrels, and chipmunks have sharp claws and teeth that can chew away the wiring and lead to costly HVAC maintenance and repairs. Check your attic occasionally to look for any uninvited visitors camping around.
If you locate any such signs, call the professionals to inspect the area and determine the damage. Seal any entry or exit points in unused areas of your house and keep the grass clipped in your backyard.
Reset the Thermostat
With the onset of fall, evenings get colder and drafty. You may reset the thermostat settings according to the changing temperature. Lower the setting when no one is home to save energy.
Thermostat inspection is also an essential part of your fall HVAC maintenance routine. And if you don’t have a thermostat, now is the right time to install one. Call professionals to review your home’s heating and cooling needs to recommend the best device and install it.
Inspect the Vents
Every so often, inspect your HVAC unit’s vents to see if they are dirty or moldy. Debris and dust can accumulate on the AC vents in summer. When fall comes, you need to clean them up because any dust buildup on the unit can make you lose efficiency and bring higher utility bills.
Look at the Current Energy Bills
If you use the HVAC unit continuously throughout the summer, high energy bills are inevitable. As the temperature drops and cool winds start blowing, you may expect a substantial decrease in your power usage. If that’s not the case and you still incur high energy costs, it may be a warning sign.
Sometimes, your HVAC unit may have an internal issue that needs immediate attention. Take high energy bills as an indicator of a bigger problem and call experts for HVAC maintenance. They can find the issues like a hidden tear in the ductwork or clogging in the condensate drain line that you overlooked. Staying ahead of maintenance will save you future expenses and headaches.
Insulate the Attic
If you have an attic in your home, insulate it properly before fall to lighten the load on your HVAC system. It’s crucial for fall HVAC Maintenance as insulation to keep the warm air trapped inside the house and allow your unit to work less and maintain a comfortable temperature. Since attic insulation requires proper equipment and expertise, please leave it to the pros.
Check the Registers
When your HVAC unit is in top-notch condition, you can expect consistent airflow throughout your home. But, if you notice weak airflow, especially near the registers, you may need to check and reset them. This way, you won’t waste the heat during the winter months.
Set the registers to open and close according to your changing needs. You can heat only specific parts instead of the entire space. It will save you a more money in the long run. Avoid closing too many registers at once, though. It may impede the air pressure in the unit.
Schedule HVAC Fall Maintenance and Tune-up
No matter how much you love tinkering with and repairing your home appliances and units, HVAC is a different ball game. It is expensive equipment that needs proper tuning and timely maintenance by experts. So, save your exertion and schedule a professional HVAC maintenance with a licensed technician.
The experts know where to look for potential signs of wear, damage, rust, or technical issues. They can repair the system, replace the filters, test the air flows, lubricate the parts, and tighten the wiring to avoid more significant problems down the line. If your system is old and needs replacement, it’s a good idea to have a professional technician evaluate your needs for installing an updated unit.
Units 15 years or older will need replacement if you want to save more on your energy bills. In any case, ask your HVAC contractor to check its condition and estimate its longevity. Before you decide, consider that a new energy-efficient model can save you about 20-40% on utility costs every year.
When the season changes, don’t delay fall HVAC maintenance or tune-up if you want to extend the unit’s lifespan. It goes a long way in saving your energy bills, avoiding HVAC emergencies, and improving the efficiency of your system.