Fall is a great time to prepare your home and HVAC system for the colder months ahead. During this season, it’s important to conduct regular maintenance tasks to keep your HVAC unit running at peak efficiency and ensure a comfortable living environment throughout the winter. From cleaning the exterior of your system to inspecting ventilation ducts, a lot should be done to ensure your HVAC system is functioning optimally. Below is a fall HVAC maintenance checklist to help you stay on track with this important seasonal maintenance. This helpful guide will walk you through the essential tasks that should be completed to keep your system operating at its best.
1. Clean the Exterior of Your Unit
Over time, dirt, leaves, and other debris can accumulate around the exterior of your HVAC unit. This buildup of material can decrease airflow and reduce the efficiency of your system. Regularly cleaning the outside of your system is an important part of ensuring it continues to operate at peak performance.
Cleaning the exterior of your HVAC system also helps improve your home’s overall appearance and maintains the safety of anyone working around the unit. When cleaning, you can also use that chance to inspect the exterior of your unit for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice anything that seems unusual, it’s time to call in a qualified HVAC technician.
2. Change Air Filters
Air filters are the part of HVAC systems that are often forgotten, but it’s critical to the performance of your unit. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, causing your system to work harder and use more energy than necessary. As a result, changing air filters regularly is vital for achieving peak efficiency.
It’s recommended to clean your air filters once every month. If you have central air, replace the filters in your entire system at least once every season. When purchasing a new filter, ensure it’s the right size and type for your HVAC unit.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some systems may require special filters, so always double-check the owner’s manual before making a purchase. However, it is best to let a professional HVAC technician handle the replacement process to ensure it is done properly.
3. Inspect Ducts and Vents
The ducts and vents are responsible for distributing air throughout your home. And just like filters, these components can become clogged with dust and other debris over time. Inspecting the ducts and vents for any blockages or buildup is important for ensuring your home’s air quality remains healthy.
During an inspection, you should also check for leaks or any other signs of damage that could be causing an inefficient performance of your HVAC system. In some cases, professional duct cleaning may be necessary to ensure your system operates to its full potential. It can also help reduce energy bills since a well-maintained system uses less energy.
4. Check Thermostat Settings
The thermostat is the main control center for your HVAC system, and it’s important to ensure that it is set up correctly for optimal performance. During the Fall, you may want to adjust the thermostat setting to a lower temperature. This will help keep your home warm and save on energy costs.
You can also check that your thermostat is up to date with the latest technology. Newer digital models are more efficient than their outdated analog counterparts and better suited to control today’s high-tech HVAC systems. If you have an older thermostat installed in your home, you may also want to consider replacing it with a more advanced model.
5. Schedule Professional HVAC Services
Even with regular maintenance tasks, scheduling professional HVAC services at least once a year is still a good idea. A qualified technician can inspect your system and identify potential problems before they become more serious. They may also be able to perform repairs or installations that you cannot do on your own.
These professionals may also give you useful advice on how to save energy and money throughout the year. In most cases, an annual tune-up is enough to keep your system running efficiently until the next season arrives. For residents of Apex and the triangle area, 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning provides top-notch HVAC services with professionalism and attention to detail that you can rely on.
6. Check Fan Belts
In the HVAC system, fan belts power the blower motor, which circulates air through your home. With regular use, these belts can become worn out and need to be replaced. To prevent any unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions, inspect fan belts at least once a season and replace them if necessary.
You may also want to check all other moving parts in your HVAC system, such as the blower motor and compressor, for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice anything unusual, it’s best to contact a qualified technician who can safely replace or repair these components as needed.
7. Have the Electrical Connections Checked
The electrical connections in your HVAC system can become loose over time, leading to problems like inadequate heating or cooling. It may also lead to more serious problems like fire hazards or system overloads. To avoid any potential dangers, having your electrical connections checked by a professional at least once a year is important.
If you notice any signs of loose or corroded wires, fluctuations in power, or hear strange noises from your unit, you should first shut off the power and contact a service technician as soon as possible. They can inspect your system for potential hazards and make necessary repairs or replacements, leaving you with a safe and reliable HVAC system.
8. Check the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly to ensure they work properly. A malfunctioning detector can put your family at risk, so it’s important to check them before the start of every season. You can also check the batteries in your detectors and replace them if needed.
It’s also a good idea to install a detector near your HVAC unit. These detectors are designed to detect any exhaust leaks from the system, alerting you of potential danger before it becomes an issue. Installing these detectors can help keep your family safe and prevent costly damages in the future.
9. Check the Refrigerant Level
The refrigerant in your HVAC system helps keep your home cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Over time, this refrigerant can leak out, causing your system not to run inefficiently or not at all. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check the refrigerant level in your unit.
You should also check for any signs of leaking around your outdoor condenser unit. If you detect a leak, it’s important to contact a professional immediately. They can quickly identify the issue and repair leaks, restoring your HVAC system to its full potential.
By following this fall HVAC maintenance checklist, you can help ensure your system operates efficiently and safely all year round. It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance tasks like checking filters, inspecting ducts and vents, and checking the electrical connections. Additionally, scheduling professional HVAC services at least once a year and having your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors tested regularly is important. These simple steps can help you save money on energy costs, reduce the risk of malfunctions or breakdowns, and keep your family safe. With proper maintenance and care, you can enjoy a comfortable home throughout the Fall season.
At 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide AC and heating repair, installation, maintenance, duct, and indoor air quality services, among others. Contact us today for inquiries or to request a service.