When Autumn rolls around, the temperatures start to drop, and homeowners often look towards home maintenance chores to prepare for winter. One of the areas of preparation should be a home’s HVAC system. Prepping a system for the colder months is essential for its normal operation. Autumn maintenance also helps to ensure a system will last as long as possible. With this extensive guide, homeowners can rest assured their systems will be protected all winter long.
Important Tips for Preparing an HVAC System for Autumn
Multiple steps should be taken by homeowners when Autumn first comes into view. None of these chores is difficult, but they do not take time to carry out properly. Carrying out these helpful tips will ensure a system is ready for fall and winter.
Check the Filters
The Air filters of an HVAC system are one of its most important components. Unfortunately, homeowners often overlook this critical component and allow it to become caked with dirt and grime. When a filter is too dirty, the system cannot breathe properly. The system will also be unable to heat or cool a home as it should.
First, a homeowner needs to make sure they replace their air conditioning filter so the system will be ready to turn on when the temperatures grow warmer next year. Homeowners should also make sure they change the filter of their furnace so it is ready to heat their homes efficiently.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks in a home make an HVAC system work much harder. When doors and windows have gaps, air can leak, which makes a home drafty, especially during the cold months of the year. It is essential homeowners check every aspect of their homes. They should work to seal any gaps around windows and doors that could allow cold air to enter during the winter. Taking care of this chore before winter allows a homeowner to be prepared so their home will be nice and warm. The following are some common areas where heat loss can occur.
- Power outlets
- Light switches
If there is not enough insulation in a home, heat loss is going to be dramatic. Homeowners should make sure they have adequate insulation throughout their homes.
Clean the Outdoor Unit
It is important homeowners periodically check their outdoor units for any signs of problems. During the Autumn months, leaves and limb debris can cover an outdoor unit and prevent proper airflow. It is essential homeowners check their units and remove any debris, such as leaves, limbs, or weeds. Clean around the unit and ensure there is ample space where air can flow freely. If a homeowner finds any signs of damage to their outdoor unit, they need to call a professional right away.
Check Detectors and Alarms
The alarms and detectors in a home are essential for keeping homeowners safe. Carbon monoxide detectors work to ensure there are no gas leaks in furnaces. Autumn is a good time to test the detectors and alarms in a home to make sure they are working normally. It is also a good idea to change the batteries in the autumn.
Test the Systems
Before shutting down the air conditioning system for the winter, it is a good idea to check the system to ensure it is in good working order. Checking every aspect of the system, including the function of the thermostat, will help to ensure the air conditioner will be ready to operate normally during the summer.
Likewise, homeowners also need to check their furnaces and test them before the cool weather comes in for the year. It is important to ensure the heating system can bring a home up to the designated temperature as quickly as possible.
If the system is unable to heat the home properly, it is important to call an HVAC technician right away. These professionals will check every aspect of the system and find the problem so it can be repaired. It is better to find out there are issues before a heater is needed than to wait until temperatures get cold and learn the heater simply cannot keep up with the demand. Schedule Seasonal Maintenance with a Professional.
Seasonal maintenance is essential for an HVAC system. This maintenance needs to be performed when the seasons change but should especially be done in autumn and spring. Before the units are turned on for the season, it is important they are checked by professionals to ensure they can operate safely and effectively.
Most HVAC companies offer extensive maintenance packages that are scheduled to automatically occur when they are required. With a full inspection and maintenance appointment a couple of times a year, homeowners can rest assured their HVAC units will continue to operate properly and be less likely to break down when they are needed most.
Tips for Helping Homeowners Save on Their Heating Costs during the Winter
Many homeowners dread the winter months because they mean higher energy costs. No matter how hard a homeowner works to reduce their costs, it often seems the winter causes energy costs to creep up dramatically. The following offers some helpful tips that will assist homeowners in keeping their costs as low as possible during the winter months.
- Use the Power of the Sun
One of the most beneficial ways of reducing heating costs in the fall and winter is allowing the sun to heat a home. Opening the curtains and blinds during the day will allow valuable sunlight to filter inside the home and help keep it warm. It is important to close these at night to offer an added layer of protection against cold drafts.
- Close Unused Rooms
If a homeowner has rooms in their homes that are not used, it is important to shut these off for the winter. Shut the vents in that room so they are not being heated. It is also important to keep the doors of these rooms shut and to place a draft blocker or a towel under the door to keep heat from traveling inside. This simple step can reduce heating costs significantly during the winter.
- Cook and Bake Often
During the winter months, people naturally stay at home more, and many people enjoy cooking and baking more. Using the oven frequently helps to keep a home warm and can save money on the costs of running the furnace. When a homeowner is done baking, they should shut off the oven and open the door slightly to allow the residual heat to escape into the home and warm the kitchen.
- Keep the Thermostat Down
Many homeowners are surprised to learn they can cut their costs by one percent for each degree they turn their thermostats down. Turning the thermostat down ten degrees will save homeowners ten percent on their energy costs during the winter. It is wise to turn the thermostat down during the night to around 63 degrees. The thermostat should also be turned down when no one is at home.
- Use Ceiling Fans
While it may seem as if ceiling fans are only beneficial in the summer months, they can actually help to reduce energy costs in the winter by making rooms warmer. It is important to reverse the fans so they turn clockwise during the winter months. By making this switch, the warm air that gets trapped up at the ceilings flows down to the walls and flooring, helping to keep the room more comfortably warm.
- Rearrange Furniture
It is also helpful for homeowners to rearrange their furniture to allow better airflow. Make sure no vents in a room are blocked and ensure they are open fully to allow heat to flow through every area of the room.
Schedule Professional Maintenance Today
While there are steps a homeowner can take to prepare their HVAC systems for winter, some steps are best left to the professionals. Regular HVAC maintenance is essential for keeping systems operating normally and ensuring they are working efficiently. Ideally, homeowners should have a professional come out during the spring to check their air conditioner. The late summer or early autumn is a perfect time for a heater check.
Getting the professionals involved allows for all moving parts to be checked and lubricated. These maintenance appointments also include tightening all electrical connections and ensuring there are no signs of wear and tear or repair issues that need to be addressed.
These appointments help to save homeowners money on their energy costs all year long. They also help to protect the lifespan of a system by preventing damaging breakdowns. In addition to the tips above, homeowners should rely on professionals when repair issues arise. Prompt repairs are essential for helping to protect the integrity of an HVAC system.
Accurate Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Services offers a wide array of services to ensure homeowners have the heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical repair, maintenance, and installations their homes require. Accurate Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Services is a family-owned and operated business serving the HVAC needs of Glendora residents since 1989. They work to ensure their services help homeowners save money.