While the peak seasons for your home’s HVAC system tend to come when temperatures are at their two extremes (that is, during summer and winter), the other two seasons are similarly vital as transitional periods between these peaks. Spring and the fall season we’re currently are often very important for evaluating your system after a peak season and ensuring it’s ready for the next one, and there are a few major areas to be considering here.
At Lee’s Heating and Air, we’re proud to offer a huge range of HVAC services to clients around Utah, including preventive maintenance for both furnaces and air conditioning systems. Both on your own and with the help of our professionals during a tune-up or repair appointment, here are some of the most important areas to ensure are covered during fall HVAC upkeep.
Evaluating and Maintaining AC System
Firstly, it’s important to remember that the fall season is idea for both looking back at the past season’s AC usage and preparing your system (and budget) for the next one. As such, be sure not to gloss over the AC system that’s been working so hard for you across most of the last several months.
As you’re evaluating your system, keep an eye out for a few key things that may be indicative of a larger problem. These can include:
- Unusual or persistent sounds coming from the unit
- Uneven cooling across different rooms or areas in your home
- Rooms that are taking longer than usual to cool down
- A spike in your energy bills
If any of these are issues you’ve been noticing, it may be time to call in a professional for an inspection and repairs.
Checking Furnace Flue and Other Components
In addition, this is the period where many homeowners begin switching from their AC system to their furnace as the temperatures start to drop at night and in the morning. As such, it’s important to ensure that your furnace is in good working order before you need to rely on it for warmth on a daily basis.
One of the most important things to check is the flue, which helps release exhaust gases and other potentially dangerous byproducts of the furnace’s operation. If this isn’t functioning properly, it could lead to a buildup of these toxins in your home, so be sure to check it regularly and have it cleaned or repaired as needed.
You should also take a look at the furnace’s filter, as a dirty filter can impede airflow and make the furnace work harder (and less efficiently) than necessary. In most cases, it’s best to change or clean your furnace filter every one to three months, but be sure to check it more frequently if you have pets or other air quality concerns in your home.
Ducts and Vents
Over the long summer we’ve just been through, it’s not uncommon for dirt, dust, and other debris to accumulate in your home’s ductwork. This can lead to a number of problems, including decreased airflow, reduced efficiency, and even health concerns if the debris contains mold or other allergens.
As such, it’s important to have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis – at least once every three to five years, and more frequently if you have pets or smokers in the home. This will help ensure that your HVAC system is able to operate at peak efficiency and keep your air quality high.
Making Thermostat Changes
Another important fall HVAC task is to adjust your thermostat accordingly now that the temperatures are starting to cool down. This will help you save energy and money while still keeping your home comfortable, so it’s a win-win all around.
The first basic concept here is switching over from your “cooling” settings to your “heating” settings. In most cases, this is as simple as flipping a switch or changing a couple of numbers on the thermostat itself. For some advanced thermostats, a hybrid mode that involves both these forms of air is possible during fall months where you might sometimes need heat, and sometimes need some cool air.
In addition, now is often a great time to consider whether your thermostat should be upgraded to a more energy-efficient model. Smart thermostats, in particular, can be a great way to reduce your energy usage and costs while still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
Test Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Yet another theme that’s good to keep in mind as we head into fall is safety. As the weather gets colder and we start spending more time indoors, it’s important to make sure that our homes are as safe as possible.
One key way to do this is by testing all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they’re working properly. These should be tested monthly, and the batteries should be replaced at least once per year.
In addition, this is also a good time to consider other potential safety hazards in your home and take steps to address them. This might include anything from ensuring that your fire extinguisher is up to date to making sure that your home’s electrical system is in good working order.
By following these basic tips, you can help ensure that your HVAC system is ready to keep your home comfortable all fall long. And, just as importantly, you can also help reduce the risk of any problems or accidents in your home as we head into the colder months.
For more on how we can help with any of these needs, or to learn about all of our HVAC solutions, speak to our team at Lee’s Heating and Air today.