HVAC Maintenance Tips for Autumn
Autumn is a fun transitional time from the warmth of summer to the cozy cool of winter. One of our favorite things about fall is preparing for the upcoming holiday season. While shopping for presents and making menus are almost always fun, there are some practical things every homeowner needs to lay the groundwork for a cozy fall and winter. Here are some of our essential HVAC maintenance tips for fall.
Change Your Air Filter
The first thing on your HVAC maintenance list for fall should be to replace your air filter. Air filters play a key role in maintaining your indoor air quality. They do this by grabbing dust, dander, and other large indoor air contaminates before that hot or cool air is released into your home.
After a season of use, your air filter is probably looks a little bit like the image above. Especially with the fires and wind we’ve seen in Santa Rosa this summer. Another big reason to change your air filter is to ensure your HVAC system is running efficiently. If an air filter is too full, your furnace has to work double-time to force any air through the dirty filter.
Reprogram Thermostat Settings
Every winter, almost every few hours there seems to be a dramatic difference in temperature. From the extremely cold mornings to the almost pleasant afternoons until the temperature plunges again as the sun sets. If your home has a programmable thermostat, it’s now time to check and reconfigure your settings for the coming winter.
The best thing about a programmable thermostat is that it’s fully customizable. Set it to lower the temperature of your home while you’re out, and put the heat on around the time you normally get back. This helps both your HVAC system and your wallet.
Over time, if your HVAC system is constantly forced to run at top speed for all hours, it will lead to a build-up of pressure which can cause key parts to prematurely fail. Also, inefficiently running your HVAC system can lead to huge spikes in your energy bills.
Check Your Vents and Registers
Supply and return vents are usually in the strangest places. They’re either stuck down by your floorboards or up near the ceiling; either way, they’re inconvenient. Far too often we see homeowners cover their vents and registers with carpeting, furniture, or décor. We’re here to tell you to please stop doing this.
By sealing your vents or registers, your HVAC system is forced to work harder to force the air meant for the closed registers or vents into different parts of the home, which costs you money and unnecessarily taxes the system. Despite popular beliefs, closing return vents in rarely used rooms can actually cost money, not save it.
Clear Debris from Your Condenser
Even though we’re going into furnace season, now is not the time to forget about your condenser. A crucial part of HVAC maintenance for fall is clearing any debris from around your condenser. We all know how cold it can get here in Northern California and the last thing you want is a critter or two to make your condenser its home for the winter.
Don’t Forget to Weatherstrip You Windows
Between 25% and 30% of your warm air can be lost through a drafty window. We all expect our bills to go up a little during the winter, but this air loss can make them go sky high. When your home is losing treated air out a window, your HVAC system is working twice as hard to make up for all the lost heat.
To keep your treated air inside where it belongs, you may want to consider weatherstripping your windows. To weatherstrip your windows, start outside. First, conduct a visual inspection and patch up any holes, cracks, or leaks around your window. Then, go inside and wait for a windy day. On this windy day, hold a piece of tissue paper to the inside of each window. If the tissue paper starts to flap in the breeze, you need to seal the window. Check out Better Homes & Gardens for a great tutorial.
And Above All, Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
Next to changing your air filter, the most important thing to do is to schedule a tune-up for your furnace. Think of a tune-up as a yearly physical but for your furnace. During our 18-point tune-up your technician will check every part of your furnace, no stone will be left unturned. While they’re doing this, your tech will also conduct a thorough professional cleaning.
At Moore Home Services, we suggest everyone schedule HVAC tune-ups twice per year. Once before furnace season and once before AC season.
Still Need to Schedule Your Tune-Up? Call Us Today
Are you waiting to schedule your furnace tune-up? Don’t hesitate to reach out and book an appointment with one of our HVAC experts. If you’re in Sonoma, Sacramento, or the North Bay, Moore Home services is here to winterize your HVAC system, so your family stays cozy for coming seasons. To set up an appointment, call the number at the top of the screen, or click here to request one online.