Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips
Posted on: November 19, 2020
As the weather cools off, soon you'll be using your heating system again. First, though, you need to make sure it's running efficiently. Before you start running your furnace, you need to perform some basic fall maintenance. Here are a few tips.
Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter removes dust, debris, and other contaminants from the air, to mitigate things like allergies and asthma. However, the filter needs to be replaced periodically in order to remain effective.
A clogged air filter leads to poor indoor air quality and impedes airflow. Less air means the system needs to run longer to warm your house. This wastes energy, as well as overworks your system, causing it to burn out more quickly.
A pleated filter lasts between three and six months. Check the filter every month, and replace it when it's grey and opaque, rather than white and translucent.
Clean Vents and Registers
Even after you've replaced your filter, the air circulating through your home can still pick up dust and contaminants, if your vents are dirty. Use a screwdriver to remove the grilles from all vents and registers. Wash them with soap and water, dry them off, and replace them. Then, throughout the heating season, regularly wipe each vent down with a damp cloth to keep dust buildup at bay.
Eliminate Debris from the Outdoor Unit
In addition to heating system maintenance, your A/C needs to be prepared to spend the next few months dormant. Make sure there's at least two feet of clearance on all sides of the unit that's kept free of fall leaves, tall grass, low-hanging branches, and other debris. You can also clean the unit by spraying it with a hose, to dislodge any dirt, leaves, or twigs that could be stuck in the coil.
Holes in your ductwork can cause significant energy loss as air leaks out before it can circulate through your home. Look for pinhole leaks, larger holes, and sections of ductwork that have separated from one another. Repair the damage with metal tape or mastic sealant. Despite its name, don't use duct tape. It loses adhesiveness over time, so air can leak out from underneath, undetected. Of course, it’s always best to contact an HVAC tech for these repairs, as DIY can get dangerous
Schedule Your Annual Tuneup
There's only so much you can do on your own. The most important fall HVAC maintenance task is to call your HVAC technician and schedule an inspection. This should be done every year at the beginning of heating season, just before you start using your system again.
The technician will perform a variety of tasks to make sure your system is functioning at peak efficiency. If any of the unit's individual components need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced, they'll see to it. They'll calibrate your thermostat to ensure that it reads the right temperature. They'll test carbon monoxide levels to make sure your family is safe. Plus, a dozen or more other tasks designed to keep your system running smoothly all season.
Annual maintenance helps improve your system's efficiency, to keep your energy bills manageable. It also helps prevent breakdowns in the middle of the season. System issues are spotted and dealt with before they turn into bigger problems. Finally, it extends the life of your system, keeping it in top condition year after year.
To schedule your annual fall maintenance visit, contact us at David Gray Plumbing.