The kids may dread it, but it can be a parent’s favorite time of year: back-to-school season. This means one step closer to fall and using your HVAC systems less and less. Fall temperatures tend to be cool with less humidity, which means turning off your AC and enjoying the foliage, along with some energy savings.
Just because you don’t use your HVAC as frequently in the autumn, however, doesn’t mean it should be ignored completely. You’ll be relieved to know there are some simple steps you can follow to ensure your HVAC works through the fall and is prepared for winter. Here is a maintenance checklist that will keep you from “falling” behind!
Inspect and Clean Your Air Filter
Cleaning your air filter helps reduce indoor contaminants in the fall and winter, when you’re most concerned with staying warm and keeping excess allergens out of your home. Going too long without cleaning and/or replacing it increases your chances of buildup in your filter that would impede circulation of pure air. It will also help improve your HVAC’s fuel efficiency and long-term operating cost.
Clear Your Air Vents
Your air vents (also referred to as registers) need to be cleared and cleaned for full efficiency in all seasons. Move heavier furniture, toys, pet kennels, or other obstructing items away from the vents so that heated air can flow freely throughout your home.
Clean Your Humidifier
Humidifiers are an important part of keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. They manage humidity levels and add appropriate levels of moisture in the air to prevent these issues. In the fall and winter, colder air holds less moisture, leaving air feeling dry. Dry air can lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, itchy eyes, and overall discomfort. Dry air can also contribute to shrinking in hardwood planks and caulk joints in your home. Checking that your humidifier is clean and clear of clogs in addition to changing the water panel in the humidifier will help ensure efficiency so it can offer the relief it’s supposed to.
Use Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, use them! It will allow you to raise your thermostat temperature and keep a consistent, comfortable temperature. Ceiling fans also save on energy costs. The less you use your air conditioner, the less energy it absorbs, and the less you have to pay for it. Turn them on in the autumn or winter, too, to evenly distribute warm air throughout your house.
Schedule a Professional Maintenance Check
The best way to ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape for Fall is to get a professional inspection and/or repair. Certified technicians will know what to look for and expect for the upcoming season and be able to give recommendations easier when they are looking at the system in person. They’ll be able to individually inspect each component to identify both opportunities and threats to your system, saving you money on more significant repairs down the line.