Time for Fall Maintenance
While many of us aren’t ready for summer to be over, the season is winding down, and cool weather will start to creep in over the next month or so. It is time to begin prepping your home for winter by completing fall maintenance for your heating and air conditioning. Get your HVAC system ready for the switch from air conditioning to heating by following a quick checklist, and by scheduling a tune-up with one of our certified technicians. Here are a few things you can do, on your own.
- Clean your outdoor unit – The condenser unit is the part of your HVAC system that is outside, the big box that blows hot air when the air conditioning is running. Check that it is clear of any obstructions or debris. Leaves, grass clippings, and fallen branches can obstruct the flow of air and this makes the HVAC system work harder to push air out. You should check that the condenser is clear of debris periodically throughout the year, but it is especially important in the fall, when the trees start to lose their leaves.
- Check thermostat – Give your thermostat a little test by adjusting the temperature and checking to see if the proper temperature is displayed. If you have a programmable thermostat, it is a good time to review what has been programmed and make adjustments. Fall mornings tend to be chilly, so you may want to adjust what temperature has been set for your wake up time.
- Change filter – you should be changing the filter in your HVAC about every 3 months. It is especially important in the fall because of the increase in allergens in the air. In the mid Atlantic ragweed is one of the most common and most irritating allergens in the autumn. This is because this weed can grow almost anywhere, and when released, it’s pollen can travel for miles through the air. It is hard to get away from. If you or a loved one suffers from seasonal allergies, changing your filter will help improve the air quality in your home. You can also look into purchasing a higher quality filter to remove more irritants from the air. Talk to your HVAC specialist about what type of filter would be best for your home.
- Adjust ceiling fans – during the summer, your ceiling fans should rotate counter clockwise, to push air down and create a breeze in your home. In the fall, it is the opposite. The fans should rotate clockwise, slowly, to pull cool air upward to reduce heating costs. Most fans have a small, black switch that should be up in the winter and down in the summer. The switch controls the fan’s rotation.
- Regular maintenance – Most HVAC technicians will recommend that you have regular maintenance completed on your system twice a month – once in the spring, before turning on your air conditioning, and once in the fall, before switching over to heat. The average lifespan of an HVAC system can range from 15 to 25 years. A system that has been well cared for will save you a lot of money over the years, as new HVACs cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Having regular tune-ups with a trend technician will ensure that your system is running as efficiently as possible. An efficient system uses less energy and causes less wear and tear – meaning you pay less on your energy bill and your system will live longer. Technicians are also trained to be on the lookout for any warning signs and can fix small issues before they become big problems.
Getting your home ready for fall can be intimidating but having a checklist to follow will help you to know how to get started. Your HVAC system is one of the most important and most expensive parts of your home. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Give Weather Crafters a call today to schedule a semi-annual HVAC maintenance appointment with one of our highly trained staff.