How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Fall
While most Monroe homeowners know the benefits of annual seasonal maintenance, there are several additional ways that you can maintain a healthy HVAC in the fall. After you have had a skilled technician look over your system, go through our list of additional tips to ensure your central air continues to provide heat and comfort throughout the long Michigan winter. In addition to keeping your household happy and healthy, these tips will help keep the utilities in check.
Prepare your HVAC system for the fall season with these recommendations from the professionals at Iceberg Heating & Cooling:
Change out the Filters
Probably the easiest and most helpful procedure a homeowner can follow on their own is changing out the HVAC filter every season. Dust, dirt and other contaminants can build up over the summer and compromise the usefulness of your HVAC filter. A dirty filter not only helps to contaminate the indoor air, but it also makes your central air system work harder to do its job. Replacing the filter in the fall will help ensure a healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) and keep the heating bill from skyrocketing. Before you purchase a new filter, make sure that you are mindful of the size and the ideal MERV rating.
Clean the Vents
If you have a dirty air filter, chances are you also have dirty air vents. The supply and return air vents that are located throughout your home are responsible for delivering (and circulating) the conditioned air year-round. They can also collect dust and other contaminants, which can block the air flow and make your home dusty. Inspect every vent for buildup; some may be dirtier than others. Before you do any cleaning, make sure that you turn off the power to the HVAC system. A dust cloth or vacuum hose might be all you need for some, but others might require soaking in warm water and dish soap.
Secure Outdoor Unit/Condenser for Winter
It is important to safeguard your outdoor unit before the harsh Michigan winter. Turn off the power to your central air and then do a thorough inspection of the unit. Make sure that any plant life or other objects are at least three feet away from the perimeter. Clean off any leaves or debris from the outside vents and the inside of the unit using a portable vacuum or your hands. It is not recommended that Monroe homeowners use a cover to keep their units safe as moisture buildup and rodents can harm the components. Instead, get a piece of plywood that covers the entire top and secure it with bricks or rocks. This will keep the snow and ice from the interior, but also allow the unit to breathe.
Inspect the Area Around Your Furnace
Just like the outdoor condenser, your heater needs space to function properly. Inspect the area around the heater and make sure that there is at least three feet of unencumbered space around it. You will also want to dust and/or vacuum around the area after a season of inactivity. Even if your heater/furnace has been given proper maintenance, it is important to make sure that it is free from dust and anything that might hinder its performance.
Program Your Thermostat for a Fall Schedule
If you have a smart thermostat, make sure that you pay close attention to the scheduling of the central air. Since we are still experiencing highs in the mid-80s, most Monroe homes will have their AC running for a few more weeks. Be mindful of the weather/temperature transitions and keep the thermostat schedule in sync with ideal home use. You will want to revisit the programming in another month or so when the temperatures dip into the 40s. Keeping the thermostat keyed into the household schedule, and the temperature fluctuations will help ensure both comfort and lower utility bills.
Once again, to prepare your HVAC system for the fall season, it is essential that your heater or furnace is looked over by a professional technician. This will help it run at optimum performance – and keep it from breaking down when you need it the most. Call us at 734-342-3420 to schedule your annual fall maintenance today!
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