HVAC Prep for Winter: Maintenance Checklist
Summer is officially over and we’re rounding the bend into shorter, cooler days. September is the perfect time to turn your attention to getting your home ready for the winter, which can be a very stressful time of year for your HVAC system if you don’t perform the right maintenance tasks.
But some simple prep before you switch your system from cooling to heating will ensure you can keep everything running smoothly throughout the toughest months of the year. Of course, calling us to maintain your system is always your best bet! But here’s a checklist to get you started on some maintenance you can perform as a home-owner:
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTERS
Maintaining air flow is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure the continued functioning of your HVAC system, and the best way to promote proper airflow is by frequently replacing your air filters. We often advise homeowners to make a calendar reminder so they don’t forget!
When your air filters become dirty, it can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and can strain its parts, sometimes causing extensive and expensive damage. To make sure that your system is as efficient as possible, you should check your air filter every 30 to 90 days, depending on variables such as size of your home, numbers of people and pets living in the home, and allergy issues- and replace filters that have accumulated large amounts of dirt and debris. Even though you may still be running the AC here and there while the dog days of summer stick around, it’s a good idea to pop in a new, fresh filter.
CLEAN YOUR REGISTERS
When you’re getting your HVAC system ready for the cold weather season, it’s also important that you frequently clean the registers in your home. Dirt and pollen can quickly build up on registers, reducing the airflow in your home and also impacting your air quality. While you’re cleaning them, also make sure they’re open! Normal wear and tear, things like the vacuum running over them, etc., can cause registers to be closed thus limiting air flow.
If you want your HVAC system to work the way that you need throughout the year, your registers should be cleaned at least once a week as part of your normal cleaning routine. Fortunately, cleaning your registers is very easy, and requires only a damp rag.
ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT
With the kids back at school the house may now be empty all day, and evenings tend to get a bit cooler. It usually isn’t necessary to keep the same settings you had in July. Set the temperatures to comfortable settings that make sense with the outside temps at different times of the day, and open the windows to let that fresh air in!
We always recommend you try your system out before the coldest days set in as well, just to make sure everything is running properly. Better to know in advance than when you really need it!
CHECK IN ON YOUR OUTDOOR UNIT
The outdoor condenser is made to be outside in the elements. A lot of people ask us if they need a cover- we do not suggest using a condenser cover, but if your outdoor unit is in an area where it might get a lot of leaves and sticks blowing onto it, you can take a piece of plywood or a board and lay it on top of the unit (usually anchored with a brick) to prevent the leaves and sticks from falling into the unit throughout the fall.
CALL A PROFESSIONAL
If you follow these simple tasks on your HVAC maintenance checklist, you should be able to keep your system running throughout the year. However, if you want to make sure your HVAC maintenance is done correctly, or if you’re experiencing a problem with your system, you should get help from the heating and cooling professionals at Gross Heating and Air Conditioning.
Now is the time to get your furnace ready for the long winter ahead – and winter, as we all know too well, tends to be pretty darn long. A professional tune-up will make sure the unit is clean and running properly. Our technicians will also test carbon monoxide levels when doing the cleaning, which is a great thing to have done before winter sets in. Additionally, a yearly tune-up will keep your warranty valid if you have a newer system.
We understand the right way to get your HVAC system ready for any season, and can also help you quickly fix any issues that are reducing the performance of your heating and cooling units. Contact us today!
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