Fall is quickly approaching, and with it comes a myriad of household checks and maintenance. HVAC systems are built to last, but they need a little help along the way to perform at their best. Here in Lancaster, we all know fall means cooler nights and shorter days, which leads to a change in thermostats.
Before heaters get switched on for the cool fall months and colder winter season to come, it’s important to inspect your HVAC system. At Arctic Air, we perform a full assessment of client HVAC setups in spring and autumn to keep things running efficiently.
Here are some of the checks you can perform yourself as a homeowner before calling in the experts.
Filters are a small but important piece in the HVAC puzzle. Filters catch unwanted debris, keeping it from circulating in your home when the air is on. Both air conditioning and heating units use filters to reduce air pollution in your home.
HVAC filters should be changed every three months, but it’s especially important before peak seasons like summer and winter to have them changed. Fall is a great time to inspect and change your filter.
Air Conditioning and Ductwork
Fall weather may not call for AC as often as summer. A lack of future use is precisely why you should clean and check your AC for problems before it retires for the cool season.
To clean your AC unit, follow these steps:
- Turn the AC unit off
- Wipe exterior unit and grill with a damp rag
- Open AC unit carefully
- Wipe evaporator coils and rinse drain pan
- Check AC drain for clogs
- Close AC unit securely
Ductwork also needs inspecting and cleaning. You should call an HVAC specialist to thoroughly clean your ventilation and ductwork twice a year. You can also wipe registers clean and vacuum out the vents below on your own.
Clearing ductwork improves the air quality in your home, removing unnecessary debris which gets blown into your home.
Furnace and Thermostat
Thermostats tell you how well your HVAC system is performing. If your furnace isn’t able to meet demands for temperature change, there could be something wrong. A quick check of the thermostat is a great place to begin your furnace inspection.
From the thermostat, you can inspect the furnace itself. Some items to check off your list include:
- Blue pilot light: A yellow light isn’t burning properly
- Gas line: Look for leaks or any potential cracks in the line
- Clean burners: Burners need to be clear of soot and dirt
- Wiring: Any frayed or disconnected wires are cause for concern
Use all your senses as you inspect your furnace. Strange sounds or smells could indicate trouble. Contact your HVAC specialist if you notice anything out of the ordinary in or around the furnace. Leaking furnace problems for longer than necessary can further damage individual components or the entire furnace.
Check Home Detectors
Every home in Lancaster should be outfitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. During your fall HVAC check, test each detector to see if it works. Change batteries as needed and wipe clean if detectors have become dirty.
At least one of each detector should be installed on each level of your home. The National Fire Protection Association says there should also be smoke alarms in every bedroom or sleeping area, as well as the basement. Downstairs detectors are necessary even in homes with unfinished basements.
If you have a home humidifier, it’s about to get a workout. Cold months tend to be dryer than warm months. Depending on your state, you might run a humidifier year-round. Either way, be sure to clear the water panel before the autumn season.
Water panels should be cleared once every three months, but if you notice more activity in the fall and winter, an extra clearing doesn’t hurt.
Finally, your roof should be inspected at the end of summer/beginning of fall. Look for any inconsistencies or damage, including:
- Buildup of debris
- Warped shingles
- Missing shingles
- Drainage issues
Roof repairs and gutter cleaning should be complete before winter to avoid additional damage.
Get in Touch with Arctic Air for Fall HVAC Servicing Today
If you want to prep your HVAC system for fall, we can help. Our team of experienced HVAC specialists will assess your current setup and help with cleaning and maintenance. Give us a call to make an appointment today.