As cool weather approaches, most homeowners start to get things ready for fall and winter. This may mean moving some plants indoors, cleaning gutters, or making sure your fall wardrobe is prepared. Fall is also time to get your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system ready for cooler temps. Here are seven tips for preparing your heating system.
1. Schedule Preventative Maintenance
One of the most important ways to prepare for fall and winter is to schedule HVAC preventative maintenance. Most professionals recommend this type of system care every six months, so spring and fall are perfect times.
Preventative maintenance involves checking, cleaning, and tuning the unit. Here are some of the things our experts handle during HVAC maintenance:
- Heat exchanger inspection: A cracked exchanger can leak dangerous carbon monoxide into the home. We carefully check every inch of the heat exchanger to make sure it’s in top condition.
- Blower motor check: The blower motor is one of the main components for delivering heat throughout the home. We make sure air is flowing correctly and efficiently.
- System cleaning: Our team takes the time to clean accumulated dirt and debris from system parts, ensuring they work correctly. In the case of oil heating, we also clean soot buildup from various areas.
- Safety inspection: Depending on the type of heating your home has (gas, oil, or electric), we check areas vulnerable to problems. For example, we look at all wiring and tighten any loose connections. We check the gas line for leaks and make sure safety couplings are working correctly.
- Lubrication: Our team lubricates all moving parts and checks the integrity of seals. We also inspect the level of fuel in the oil tank and check the oil pump.
- Preventative repairs: If we notice worn belts or other parts that are close to failing, we may go ahead and replace them during the maintenance visit. That way, you don’t have to worry about sudden breakdowns.
- System tuning: We calibrate the thermostat with the furnace. This ensures the temperature on the thermostat matches the heating output of your system, preventing wasted energy.
Why is furnace maintenance necessary? For the same reason, your car needs a regular oil change. With proper care, the HVAC system stays in excellent condition. Periodic maintenance can prevent minor issues from turning into huge problems, and it ensures your heating system performs at its best.
2. Test the Heater and Thermostat
Before cold weather arrives, you should test your heating system a few times. This is relatively easy to do. First, switch the thermostat from “cool” to “heat.” Next, set the temperature a few degrees above room temperature. It shouldn’t take long for the heater to turn on. If a few minutes go by and you don’t hear anything, there could be a problem with the thermostat or wiring connections. Our team is happy to check it out for you.
3. Handle HVAC Repairs or Replacement
Is there a problem with your HVAC unit? Does it have trouble distributing air evenly through the home? If so, don’t put off repairs. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a broken heater or air conditioner during extreme weather. Call our pros before the system fails instead of afterward.
Fall is one of the best times to take care of HVAC repairs. Our team makes everything easy. We explain exactly what’s wrong, what parts are needed to fix it, and how much repairs cost. Some homeowners decide to save money with smaller repairs, while others opt to replace older furnaces with energy-efficient models. Whatever you decide, we handle everything for you.
4. Install a New Heating System
Fall is also a great time to schedule a heating system installation. If your home doesn’t have a heater, this year may be the perfect moment to install one. The decision depends on whether you’re comfortable or not. Modern energy-efficient heaters save you money on your electricity bill, so nothing is holding you back.
5. Replace the Air Filter
One of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks is also one of the simplest: cleaning or replacing the air filter. A clean air filter helps increase airflow, which means heating and cooling changes are more noticeable throughout the house. New filters also provide excellent indoor air quality, helping you avoid allergies and dust.
The fastest way is to buy a new air filter and replace the old one, especially since air filters are relatively cheap. This job is reasonably straightforward, so it’s something you can do yourself. Here’s how:
- Check your heater’s manual to buy the right size of the filter.
- Turn off the HVAC unit.
- Open or remove the service panel.
- Slide-out the old filter (a large pleated filter near the blower fan).
- Insert the new filter paying attention to the arrows for front and back.
- Turn the HVAC system back on.
If you prefer to avoid this task, that’s fine, too. Our team is happy to take care of it for you.
How often should you replace the air filter? We generally recommend handling it every one or two months. If you have pets or someone in your family has allergies, once a month is best. Filters can fill up faster than you may think with dust, microbes, and dirt particles.
6. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Is it time to make home comfort even easier? If it’s been a long time since you upgraded your thermostat, this may be the year to do it. High-tech smart thermostats are capable of some pretty amazing things.
With a smart thermostat, you can program your furnace to turn on at specific times of the day. This is great for people who tend to feel cold at night or early in the morning. The HVAC system automatically adjusts to your desired profile without you needing to touch a thing.
You can walk around barefoot for breakfast without getting cold feet. Later in the day, the thermostat reduces the heat as more sunlight enters the home.
7. Install/Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Fall and winter weather often means spending more time inside. To keep your family safe and sound, carbon monoxide detectors are a must. That way, you can detect any leaks ahead of time and call our professionals right away for assistance.
Any home with an attached garage, gas stove, fireplace, or fuel-burning furnace needs working CO detectors. Each bedroom and room where your family spends time should have one. Replace the batteries every six months or so, and install new CO detectors every five years. Test a CO detector by pressing the button on the front. If you hear a beep, the batteries are still working.
Enjoy the Benefits of Optimized Heating
It’s true that the weather doesn’t drop into freezing temperatures in Florida, but it still makes sense to listen to your body. If you hate waking up with cold feet or felt chilly last year, a great heating system is an answer. That way, you stay comfortable all year long. Learn more about heating system installation or maintenance by contacting us right away.