If you are like most people, you have been relying on your air conditioning to keep you cool for the hot summer. With fall just around the corner, however, it may be time to start thinking about preparing your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems for the winter months. After a long summer, your air conditioner needs to be ready for a season of disuse.
Just like any piece of home equipment, your HVAC systems require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently and effectively. There are many reasons to make sure that your AC and heating system are properly serviced for next year.
- Keeps your system running efficiently: Even if you have not been regularly servicing your HVAC systems, there are several things that you can do to keep your AC and heating system running smoothly. For example, maintaining the condenser, or the part of the unit that sits outside, is incredibly easy and will guarantee that your unit is running at its maximum efficiency. However, there are portions of your AC and heater that you cannot access, so it is recommended that a professional visually inspects your unit before the next summer season starts.
- Regular tune-ups make your HVAC systems trustworthy: By keeping your HVAC units properly serviced, you can count on your systems to work for you when you need them most.
- Regular maintenance protects your investment in your home: HVAC systems are incredibly expensive and can cost upwards of $10,000 or even more if your system needs to be replaced, depending on who you buy from. By having your systems properly serviced, they’ll last far longer.
- Makes your home more efficient: When your unit is running at maximum capacity, not only is it saving you money, but it is also consuming less energy.
Preparing Your HVAC Systems for Fall
While it is hard to believe that summer is almost over and the cold weather is just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your HVAC systems. By performing this maintenance early, you’ll be ready to take on that first cold night, no matter when it hits.
- Check the filters: While your heater and air conditioning unit are in use, the filters should be changed or cleaned monthly depending upon the type of filter your systems use. If you did not change the filter before you last used your furnace, it is recommended to switch it out and start out the fall and winter seasons with a fresh one.
- Clear the side vent: If you have a high efficiency furnace, you will have a side vent leading to the outside of your home. This should be located about three feet or so above the foundation line of your home. Make sure the area around your vent is clear to keep the air moving freely.
- Inspect the area around your furnace: Before turning your furnace on, it is a good idea to ensure that the area around your furnace is clear. This will help keep your furnace from becoming overheated. In addition, this can be used as an opportunity to ensure that there are no flammables located anywhere near your furnace, as these materials can pose serious safety risks.
- Yearly inspection: One of the most important things that you can do to keep your HVAC systems running smoothly is to call your trusted HVAC inspector before each heating and cooling season begins. While these inspections will help care for the parts of your systems that you do not have access to, the professional can also notify you and fix any potential problems before they cause permanent damage.
Your HVAC systems are a huge financial investment. By properly maintaining your systems and keeping them running smoothly, you’ll ensure that your systems have a long life ahead of them.