Fall can bring unexpected temperatures, with some days rivaling the heat of summer and cool nights that sneak up on you. To stay comfortable during this changing season, it’s important to have a HVAC unit that responds to your commands and works quickly to get your space to the desired temperature.
Maintaining your unit and being sure that all of the inside components work properly is vital during this season, as increased use over the summer is likely to have worn certain parts of the unit down. Below, we will provide some tips to help you keep your unit well-maintained all season long.
1. Monitor energy usage.
If you’ve been using your HVAC system a lot in the summer months, you may have seen your utility bills increase. As the average outdoor temperature drops and you start to use the system less, you should see a decrease in the amount of power your unit is using.
If your utility bills remain high even though you haven’t been using the unit very much, this can be a sign that there is something wrong with the unit, causing it to work more than it should. When this happens, it can point to an issue with the unit itself or a possible tear in the ductwork that carries the cooled air around the home. Keeping an eye on your energy usage will help you better understand when maintenance and repairs are needed.
2. Check for animal visitors.
As the temperature drops, small animals may try to find a warm place to pass the time. They might make their way into the compressor, the outer portion that powers the HVAC system or into the vents and ducts that work with the HVAC system. With sharp teeth and claws, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, mice, and rats can cause damage to wiring and other vital parts of the HVAC system.
If you hear sounds coming from your attic, check to see if an animal visitor has made themselves a nest. If you find any signs of animals there, access the damage and take the necessary steps to make any necessary repairs. Keep an eye on these areas periodically to avoid any future damage.
3. Change filters to reduce allergens in the indoor air.
Your HVAC system’s filters work to remove dust, dirt, pollutants, and other particles out of the air supply before it is funneled through the home. Increased pollen and dust in the outdoor air as the seasons change can clog the filters. Without a clean filter, the unit won’t be able to stop any allergens in the air from re-circulating, which can cause allergies and asthma to flare up.
Check your filters at least once a month and change when you notice that they have become clogged or dirty. If you live in an area that’s experiencing lots of dust or high winds, you may need to check and change your filter more often to maintain a healthy indoor air quality.
4. Invest in a seasonal HVAC tune-up.
Having an expert inspect your system at the beginning of the season can save you a lot of headaches and expenses down the line. During a fall HVAC checkup, a technician will check all the major components for signs of rust, wear, or damage and alert you to any signs of possible issues with the system.
In addition to checking for repair needs, your technician will also replenish any fluids, make sure the parts are well lubricated, and check the condition of the wiring to avoid short circuits that can shut down the entire unit. This pre-emptive maintenance visit can save you time and money later by alerting you to issues before they become major breakdowns.