Summer is nearly behind us, and the cold months are finally in view. This means that it’s a great time to do a little preventative maintenance for your HVAC system to make sure that it works faithfully throughout the entire fall and winter seasons.
With a little bit of elbow grease and some help from a pro, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. In this post, we’ll examine what to do for your air conditioning system, your heating system, and the ductwork in your home.
During Your Fall Prep is a Great Time for A/C Maintenance
Even though you won’t be using your air conditioning system during the winter, the beginning of the fall season is a great time to do a little preventative maintenance. If you make sure everything is in good working order now, you won’t run the risk of anything getting worse during the cold months. Additionally, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with knowing you’ll be all set next year when the weather finally warms up again.
We’ll cover more maintenance tips for your A/C, but at this time of year perhaps the best (and easiest) thing you can do is clear the drain lines and empty the pans. Draining the lines is beneficial because you’ll prevent blockages and, in the event that anything freezes during the coming wintertime, nothing will burst. The pans should be emptied because standing water can lead to mildew buildup or attract vermin.
Next, you’ll want to make sure the belts and pulleys in your air conditioning system are looking good and free from wear, cracks, or tears. The cold weather can make these kinds of problems worse, and when the summer rolls around next year a belt or a pulley could break—not a particularly fun thing to have happen on the first hot day.
Finally, you’ll want to clean the coils in the A/C unit. Grime or debris left on the coils during the cold months can cause corrosion, which will inevitably lead to damage or even a leak. This is a maintenance task usually best left to professionals—the fins on an A/C coil tend to be fairly delicate.
Heating System Fall Maintenance Tips
Since your heating system will likely start to get some use during the fall, and even more after that when the winter arrives, making sure that it’s up to the task is an important maintenance step to take during the fall.
The easiest task to start with is to calibrate your thermostats. Even if you followed our summer HVAC prep guide and have already done it, thermostat calibration is a fast and simple procedure. Here’s how you do it: place a standalone thermometer in a central location of your home for about 10 or 15 minutes. See if it matches your thermostat—if not, calibrate your thermostat to match the accurate readout.
Next, check your filters. This is especially important if you use the same filters for both your A/C unit and your heating system (it’s likely that you do). Since they’ve probably been in use all summer, it’s almost certainly time to swap them out for new ones.
Finally, you’ll want to confirm the condition and operation of your heating systems fans and motors are in good working order. This, again, is likely a job for a professional—unless you really know what you’re doing, don’t attempt to DIY this step. The fans must be cleaned and the motor should be inspected, which may necessitate additional lubricant or part replacement.
Is a Duct Inspection Worth it During Autumn?
In almost all situations, yes. A duct inspection is one of those maintenance services that can really pay for itself, and the fall is a smart time to have it done. Consider that even after a warm summer like we had this year, moisture has likely accumulated throughout your ducts. Even small amounts of moisture can result in mold growth—if it’s bad enough, it can cause health problems for your family.
Furthermore, a duct inspection will also involve checking out the condition of your ductwork insulation. This is also smart to do before winter because if the insulation has become damaged over time, the heated air will leak out before it reaches the rooms you want to warm up. If the insulation is damaged, you’ll have higher energy bills and might even lead to additional, unnecessary wear and tear on your heating system.
A duct inspection is essential, especially if it’s been a few years since you had one last.
Make Your Fall HVAC Prep Easier With Our Help
If you’d like to have a duct inspection, need repairs, or would like help with anything else, our team of experts at Best Buy Heating and Air would be more than happy to help. You can request a service here or call us at (970) 218-0414. We look forward to helping you get ready for the cold weather!