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Autumn: the season of change, falling leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes. There’s one more part of your autumn routine you can’t forget, though: HVAC maintenance.
That’s right. Autumn is the perfect time for an HVAC tune-up. After the sweltering temperature of summer (but before the chilly winter season storms in), give your HVAC unit a little TLC.
The proper maintenance could save you about 30% on your energy bill.
Use this HVAC maintenance checklist to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Is your HVAC unit ready for the new season? Let’s take a look.
1. Replace the HVAC Filter
To start, let’s take a look at your air filter. A dirty air filter can ruin your HVAC system’s efficiency, forcing it to work harder to get the job done. That added, unnecessary stress could end up damaging essential parts in the system.
Try to set a monthly reminder to check your air filters.
If it’s dirty or clogged, replace it. It’s normal to change your filter between every 30 to 90 days. However, you might need to change it more often if you open your windows a lot, which invites pollen and outdoor pollutants in.
If you have a pet, their dander and fur could cog up the system, too.
Consider purchasing a high-efficiency pleated air filter next time. These filters feature a folded design, allowing the filter to trap smaller particles.
When your filter is working at its best, you can keep the air in your home clean and your family healthy.
2. Clean the Exterior Unit
Take a look at your AC and heating system next. If your unit is outdoors, falling leaves and grass blades could end up covering the system with debris.
Check your system every week or two for sticks, dirt, pollen, leaves, and other items. Grab a pair of gloves and clean off the debris from the top and sides of the system. You might need to use a hose as well.
Make sure nothing blocks airflow to the unit.
Cleaning up the system can increase your unit’s lifespan and efficiency so it runs at its best.
After cleaning up the exterior unit, consider asking about residential heating services to prepare for the colder temperature ahead.
3. Dust the Furnace
Your furnace needs a little attention, too. Clean up any dust or debris that may have collected during its idle summer months.
Allowing dirt and dust to collect around the furnace could cause a musty order to fill your home. It also presents a fire hazard.
By routinely cleaning your furnace, you can improve airflow, prevent a clog, and improve the system’s efficiency.
4. Check for Damage
Checking for obvious signs of damage is an essential step in your HVAC maintenance checklist. While you’re cleaning up, take a closer look. Search for any dents, cracks, or other signs of damage.
If there’s an electrical issue, steer clear. Otherwise, you could experience a shock. Call a professional to handle any electrical components.
With regular maintenance, your HVAC system could last up to 15 years. Without a regular check, however, you’re only looking at added expenses.
5. Clean the Ducts
The registers and ducts need to remain clean, too. Make sure to wipe away any dust or debris. Try to make this a regular step in your routine to make sure dust doesn’t fill the system.
6. Give the Humidifier a Break
As it gets cooler, feel free to turn off your furnace humidifier’s water supply.
This will give the system a chance to rest for a bit. As you head into fall, don’t forget to replace the water panel. Set the humidity between 35% and 45% before turning the water supply back on.
7. Keep an Ear Out
You can keep up with this step throughout the year. Keep an ear out for any unusual sounds that occur while your system is running.
These odd sounds might indicate your system is experiencing a blockage. There could be debris in the vents or a loose bolt. If you hear a weird noise, check it out.
See if you can determine the source. If you can’t, that’s okay. A professional can help.
8. Switch to Fans for a Sec
You can also keep your system working at its best by turning off the HVAC fans.
During the summer, switch to ceiling fans and portable fans instead. This will help your HVAC system lower your home’s temperature and get the air circulating.
When it’s cooler, open your windows instead of using the thermostat.
These steps won’t just extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. They’ll also help you save money on your monthly energy bills, too!
9. Check All Alarms
Winter increases the risk of fire or carbon monoxide issues. Check the detectors and alarms throughout your home to make sure they’re functioning properly. Whether or not they’re low, consider changing the batteries out at this time as well.
That way, you’re prepared for any emergency.
10. Schedule a Professional Check
While you can do each item of this HVAC maintenance checklist on your own, sometimes you need a little extra help. A routine check by a professional can make sure your HVAC unit is working at its best.
Consider scheduling a professional HVAC tune-up twice a year. The best time for a checkup is once in the spring and once in the fall. Scheduling these checkups will help you make sure your HVAC system is running at optimal efficiency.
In the meantime, don’t neglect the nine steps above!
Otherwise, neglecting your HVAC system will leave you with an expensive energy bill and costly repairs in the future months.
Your Pumpkin Spice Season HVAC Maintenance Checklist
It’s almost time to grab that first pumpkin spice latte of the fall season! Before you do, make sure to review this HVAC maintenance checklist. That way, your system will be ready for anything the chilly season sends your way.
Head over to the Home Improvement section of the blog for more helpful tips!