Temperatures are bouncing around this month. Is your HVAC system struggling to boot back and forth from heat – to cool – to off? We have three tips to keep your system in it’s best condition this fall, because ultimately, it will make a different for your comfort AND your wallet. Keep reading to see the three simplest things you can do to keep everyone at home relaxed and safe.
Call in an HVAC service tech once a year
If you want your HVAC to keep everyone at home comfy this fall, the best thing you can do is have an HVAC service tech test the unit once a year to clean and adjust it. Haven’t done that yet in 2019? Do it now in the fall while your system is working half-time—once winter comes and that heat stays permanently on, you’ll want to know you’re safe from any problems. This tip is the gold standard. But if you want to do it yourself instead of call a pro, the following tips are two things you can do to make up for it.
Clean return air vents and replace filters
HVAC techs constantly recommend changing your air filters regularly, and they’re not just making this up to sell more filters! Replace an air filter and you can see for yourself how dirty it is from trapping dust and debris. The more clogged the filter, the less air flow and the less cool your system will have. During months of high usage, replace filters monthly. We just finished a sticky summer—when was the last time you replaced your filter this year?
Be sure you know where your return air filters are located, too—sometimes there’s only one alongside the furnace, but there can also be a filter at each return air vent. While you’re checking those return air vents, be sure to vacuum them thoroughly to remove all dust.
Clean the condenser coils on the outdoor air conditioner
Your A/C is done for the year! Before you put it to rest, go outside to your air conditioning unit and make sure it is free of obstructions such as grass, weeds, vines and globs of leaves and debris. Though a professional HVAC service tech can do this better, you can clean the condenser coils, too. To do so, first turn off the power to the unit. Next, get yourself a bottle of dish detergent, ideally one that is about 80 to 90% empty. Fill it with water to make a soapy solution. Then squirt this soapy solution on the outside front of the air conditioner. You should be squirting through some kind of vents or caging to the condenser coils. On most units these are visible on three sides. Get them soapy and after a few minutes of soaking time, use a garden hose to spray the soap away. You’ll see dirty water and debris flow away from the unit. Give it an hour to dry up before restoring the power—and your unit will be in the best shape to rest easy through the winter.
Whenever you are working around any part of your HVAC system, always use caution and turn off the device first.
If your HVAC is working at transitioning to cooler months but still can’t keep up and keep up after you’ve replaced the filters and cleaned the condenser coils, call an HVAC service tech to do an a/c inspection to determine the problem. On the other hand, an annual HVAC service contract will keep your system running well and take care of all the above for you. You choose.