As the leaves begin to change and the crisp autumn air starts to settle in, it’s time to start thinking about your HVAC system. Just like how you’d prepare your wardrobe for the upcoming cold months, your heating system too needs a bit of attention to ensure it operates efficiently throughout the season. In this blog post, we’ll share five simple, yet essential fall HVAC maintenance tips to help you stay cozy and comfortable, all while potentially saving on energy costs. So, let’s dive in!
Check Air Filters and Replace Them if They Are Dirty or Clogged
a. How often should you replace the filter
The frequency of replacing air filters can vary depending on various factors such as the type of filter, the overall indoor air quality, and the number of pets and occupants in your home. However, as a general guideline, follow these steps:
- Standard 1″-3″ filters: These should be checked every month. If they are dirty or clogged, replace them. In households without pets or allergies, you’ll likely need to replace these every 90 days. If you have a pet, consider replacing them every 60 days. If you have more than one pet or anyone in your household has allergies, you might need to replace them even more often, up to every 20-45 days.
- 4″-5″ media filters: These filters are larger and provide more surface area for trapping particles. They typically need to be checked every six months and replaced every 6-12 months.
- Whole-house HEPA filters: These heavy-duty filters are designed for homes with occupants who have severe allergies or respiratory conditions. They should be checked every month and replaced every 2-3 years, although this can vary based on individual conditions.
Remember, when it comes to air filters, regular check-ups are crucial. A clean filter not only ensures efficient operation of your HVAC system but also contributes to maintaining a healthier indoor environment.
b. Different types of filters to consider
- Fiberglass filters: These are a low-cost option that helps to filter out larger dust and lint particles. However, they don’t capture smaller particles like bacteria and viruses very well.
- Pleated filters: These filters have more surface area to capture particles, making them more efficient than fiberglass. They can trap pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
- Activated Carbon filters: These types of filters not only trap particles but also help reduce odors in your home. They are ideal for homes with smokers or pets.
- HEPA filters: These are the gold standard in air filters, able to capture up to 99.97% of all airborne particles. They are recommended for homes with occupants that have allergies or respiratory conditions.
- Washable filters: These filters can be cleaned and reused, making them a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option in the long run. However, they need regular maintenance and proper drying before re-installation to prevent mold growth.
Clean All Air Vents Inside and Outside Your Home
Keeping your air vents clean is essential to ensure proper airflow and prevent dust and allergens from circulating throughout your home. Here’s how to do it:
- Indoor vents: Use a vacuum with a dust attachment to clean the vents. If they are significantly dirty, you may need to remove the vent cover and wash it with warm, soapy water. Make sure it is thoroughly dry before replacing it to prevent mold growth.
- Outdoor units: Clear away any leaves, twigs, or other debris that may be blocking your outdoor units. Hose down the unit to clean off any dirt or dust. Make sure to cover your outdoor units with waterproof covers during harsh weather to protect them from damage.
Regular vent cleaning not only enhances your HVAC system’s efficiency but also contributes to better indoor air quality. Remember, a well-maintained HVAC system requires less energy to run, leading to lower utility bills.
Test Your Thermostat and Adjust Its Settings Accordingly
To ensure your heating system responds appropriately to temperature changes, check the accuracy of your thermostat. Begin by setting the temperature a few degrees higher than the current room temperature. You should hear the heating system power on almost immediately. Similarly, lower the temperature a few degrees below room temperature to verify the system powers down.
If your system doesn’t respond as expected, you may need to recalibrate your thermostat or consider replacing it with a more efficient programmable or smart thermostat. These advanced thermostats allow you to schedule your desired temperature changes for different times of the day, helping you save energy and costs when you’re asleep or away from home.
Turn off the Power to the Outdoor Unit and Clean Away Any Debris or Leaves
As the colder months approach, it is crucial to ensure your outdoor HVAC unit is clean and ready for efficient operation. Start by turning off the power to the outdoor unit for safety purposes. This can typically be done at the circuit breaker or via a shut-off switch located near the unit. Once the power is safely off, inspect the surrounding area for any debris or leaves that may have accumulated.
Clear away any materials that could potentially obstruct airflow or damage the unit, such as branches, leaves, or grass clippings. After you’ve cleared the debris, use a garden hose to gently wash away any dirt or grime from the unit’s exterior. Remember to allow the unit to dry completely before restoring power. This simple maintenance step can significantly enhance your HVAC system’s efficiency, prolong its lifespan, and help avoid costly repairs.
Have a Professional Inspect Your HVAC System for Any Potential Repairs or Maintenance Needs
Scheduling a professional inspection for your HVAC system is an essential step to prevent unexpected breakdowns and expensive emergency repairs. Certified HVAC professionals can provide a comprehensive assessment of your heating system. They can perform necessary tune-ups and provide expert advice on maintaining your HVAC system’s peak performance.
Having your HVAC system professionally inspected at least once a year, ideally during the fall, ensures its readiness for the cold months ahead while helping you enjoy a warmer, more energy-efficient home.
So, don’t delay – schedule a professional HVAC inspection today!
About Chapman Air & Heat
Chapman Air & Heat is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing HVAC solutions to homeowners across Dallas TX. With extensive experience in both residential and commercial HVAC systems, we offer comprehensive services, from installation to preventive maintenance to repairs.
Whether you need help with an existing system or are looking for one that best meets your needs, Chapman Air & Heat is here to help. Our technicians are certified professionals who use only the best quality parts and materials.
Contact us today for all your HVAC needs!