Fall is well underway and, along with a distinctive nip in the air, we’re all settling into that cozy time of year filled with warm drinks, comfort food and family gatherings. With so much going on, it might be easy to forget that, as the season changes, our home also needs some attention.
Whether we’re hosting a dinner party or splurging on holiday gifts, money can be tighter this time of year. Being proactive when it comes to caring for your heating and cooling system can not only save you money on an emergency repair but it can also make sure that you and your loved ones are comfortable as the cooler temps settle in.
Do you know how to prepare your home? If not, we’ve got you covered! Take a few moments to review this HVAC fall maintenance checklist to make sure you’re ready for the months ahead.
- Rake The Leaves In Your Yard
Between your neighbors and the Homeowner’s Association, you might already be feeling the pressure to clean up your yard but there are some other very good reasons why this is important.
Leaves and debris can collect around the outdoor components of your HVAC system, leading to improper air flow, decreased performance and, in the worst case scenario, a system breakdown. Leaving two to three feet of space around your unit can help prevent problems. Keep this in mind as you add any holiday decorations too!
- Change Your Filter
Changing your furnace filter every few months is optimal so, at the very least, try to make it a seasonal habit. Every season presents its own unique challenges in terms of indoor air quality so it’s a good idea to give your home a fresh start as the weather changes.
Fall allergy sufferers can attest to how dust, mold and other contaminants can make life difficult as we begin to spend more time indoors. Having a fresh filter can dramatically reduce the number of irritating particles in the air while also improving your HVAC system’s efficiency.
- Clean Your Home and Air Ducts
During the summer months, our windows and doors may be open more often as we take advantage of the good weather. This can allow allergens from the outdoors to settle into our home’s air duct system.
As we move into the fall season, do a deep cleaning to get all of gunk out of the nooks and crannies throughout your house. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to get into your carpet, rugs and fabric couch cushions. Then, call a certified technician to take care of your air ducts. You’ll breathe easier and your HVAC system will run smoother.
- Sweep That Chimney
Whenever we think of chimney sweeps, we can’t help but conjure up cheerful images of Dick Van Dyke singing and dancing in Mary Poppins but, in reality, it’s much more serious than that. An improperly maintained chimney can pose a serious risk to your safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20,000 residential fires are caused by fireplaces, chimneys, flues and vents. If you have one in your home, make sure it is cleaned and serviced once a year, preferably in the fall before you start using your fireplace.
- Get Insulated
While a good HVAC system can keep your home warm as the temperatures dip, all of that heated air (and your money) will be wasted if you have insulation issues. In addition to addressing obvious issues, have a professional evaluate whether your home is properly insulated.
Upgrading to newer, more efficient materials may require an initial investment but could be worth it in the long run. Either way, ensuring that any exterior walls, radiators and exposed pipes are properly protected before the frigid winter weather begins can make a big difference.
- Inspect All Alarms
With our heating systems cranked up, fireplaces aglow and windows shut tight, we are at a greater risk for both fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the fall and winter months. Take the time to make sure that all of the detectors and alarms in your home are in good working condition and replace all of the batteries — better safe than sorry!
Schedule a Maintenance Visit
If you don’t already have a regular maintenance plan in place with an HVAC professional, this is a good time to set an appointment. While there are definitely things you can do on your own, other things are best left to a qualified technician. These include:
- Inspecting your HVAC system to identify any potential issues
- Cleaning the air ducts, furnace and other components
- Replacing furnace and humidifier filters
- Providing recommendations for repairs or replacements
While you can’t predict every scenario, being proactive and prepared can go a long way. Need some help with getting your home ready for the fall season? Contact W.G. Speeks today! Our team of experts will provide a free consultation, offer guidance and address any of your HVAC needs!