As per usual, the summer season has come, stayed its brief yet incredibly hot tenure, and is now all but gone, making way for what will hopefully be a long stretch of beautiful autumn weather before the harsh winter eventually sets in.
Despite its aesthetic, the fall season is a hectic one that brings with it many transitions, from changing weather and foliage color to reopening schools and realigning schedules. With so much going on at once, it can be easy to forget about less immediate (but nonetheless important) things like air quality and the present state of your home’s HVAC system.
It’s important to remember that as the weather changes, so should the way you use and maintain your HVAC system. Some of these changes are obvious, and some much less so. If you aren’t sure you’re doing everything you can and should do, not to worry. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 tips for HVAC operation and upkeep during the fall season, all of which can save you time and money!
Tip #1: Cool it on the Cooling
While early autumn still has its fair share of warm days here and there, temperatures will start to steadily drop through September and keep dropping into the winter. As the weather cools off, your home will need less and less AC to keep indoor temps comfortable until you switch to heating. You should pay close attention to your thermostat settings, as well as inside vs. outside temperatures, and adjust accordingly to make sure you’re not overusing your system unnecessarily.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important, and it’s easy to forget about your thermostat once you’ve found a comfortable summer setting. However, neglecting to adjust it can cost you a lot of money where you could actually be saving it. The more moderate fall weather provides a great opportunity to give your system (and your monthly bills) a break, and there may even be days when it’s nice enough outside to turn it off completely and crack a window.
Tip #2: Keep Outdoor Equipment Debris-Free
Falling leaves are a staple of fall in the northeast, a sure sign of the season and its cyclical tendencies. While their shifting colors are nice to look and all, these leaves quickly pile up on the ground in people’s yards, creating new landscaping work for homeowners just as the grass cutting season winds down.
Even if you’re not the type of person who needs every single leaf off their lawn as soon as it falls, it’s good to at least be a stickler about the area surrounding your outdoor HVAC equipment. When falling foliage and other debris accumulate around your unit, its performance can be impeded. Make a point every so often to rake away any new build up and ensure your equipment is clear of debris.
Tip #3: Perform Routine DIY Maintenance
Even if you’re not an HVAC expert, there are still plenty of simple maintenance tasks that you can perform all on your own to ensure your system is functioning at peak performance. These quick tasks include changing your air filters, cleaning your vents and condensation drain lines, cleaning and emptying your dehumidifiers, and many more.
It’s important to perform these tasks on a regular recurring basis at least every few months, so this isn’t something you should only do in the fall. That being said, it makes sense to do them around the end of summer or early fall, as the preceding few months have likely been hot, humid, and dusty, all of which contributes to higher-than-average build up on your equipment. Keeping this in check will prevent said build up from compounding into larger issues and save you money on needless repairs.
Tip #4: Schedule a Professional Checkup
If you live in the northeastern United States, chances are your system has been working overtime all summer in order to deal with the excess of heat and humidity, so it’s important to make sure everything is still in good shape and working as well as it should. The northeast experiences dramatic shifts in weather between seasons, so it’s good to schedule a check-up in the fall before your system has to work overtime again for the cold and dry winter ahead.
While there’s a lot you can do on your own to ensure a healthy system, it never hurts to get a professional opinion as well. Trained HVAC techs will be able to identify any issues or impedances to your system that may not be identifiable to your average homeowner, and they have the expertise to fix these problems before they grow in scale and cost.
Tip #5: Don’t Wait!
Unfortunately, many homeowners have a tendency to only think about the state of their home’s HVAC whenever it becomes a problem, and by the time these problems become evident, they are often too far gone for a quick fix. Thus they become expensive repair jobs that could have been totally avoided. Instead of spending unnecessary amounts of your time and money on repairs, just take a little time every so often to check on your system and do some basic upkeep.
If you have any questions or end up needing some assistance, we’re always here to help with Robaire’s 24/7 emergency service. Give us a call at (215) 269-6590 to speak with one of our experts immediately or click schedule an appointment in the top right corner of this page.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more HVAC wisdom coming soon!