From Virginia Beach to Williamsburg and all communities in between fall is in the air. Mums are starting to bud and bloom while trees are preparing for their display of vibrant fall foliage. The fall season in Hampton Roads is the ideal time to give your HVAC a once-over. Maintenance your HVAC system in the fall to help prevent costly repair bills in the harsher winter season.
Clean Vents & Replace Filters
Your HVAC works hard in the summer. Dust and other debris can collect on vents, air grilles, and registers. Clean these areas in order to prevent dust from circulating in your home’s air. Cleaning these vents will also minimize the debris and dust that collects on your unit’s coils and motor. Dust and debris on HVAC units are the number one cause of energy inefficiency. Over time, collections of dust and debris that settle inside of your HVAC unit will force your system to work harder. The harder your system works adds up to a more expensive utility bill. A simple homeowner maintenance removing dust and debris from your HVAC vents will extend the life of your system. Debris and dust build-up on your HVAC system can also be a recipe for earlier than necessary major repairs.
Similarly, your air filters and furnace filters should be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis year-round. If you have been slacking on your commitment to clean filters, the fall is a great time to get back on track. Depending on the type you use, your air filter should be replaced every 30 to 90 days. When you replace your filter write down the date of replacement on the filter. Next, set your calendar with the appropriate scheduled replacement date to keep your filters clean throughout the fall and winter months.
Clean Your Outdoor Condenser Unit
Your outdoor HVAC unit, the condenser, needs attention in the fall season as well. Indeed, with each change of the season, you should monitor your exterior HVAC unit to ensure it is clear of leaves, sticks, twigs, and pinecones. This natural debris could cause a fire hazard for your outdoor unit. Debris in your condenser is also an inviting wintering spot for squirrels and other critters. If plants have grown in the vicinity of your exterior HVAC unit, make sure to trim back limbs or bushes that are in direct contact with your unit. Maintenance of your outside HVAC unit will improve the efficiency of your system as well as the lifetime of your unit – saving you money on utility bills and potential repair costs.
Check And Reprogram The Thermostat
With the change in temperature, it is a perfect time to re-calibrate your home’s thermostat. If you have a programmable or smart thermostat, autumn is an ideal time to schedule your temperatures for the impending cold. Remember to take advantage of times of the day and days of the week when your home is unoccupied. Similarly, during sleeping hours you should adjust your thermostat setting. Adjusting the setting when your home is unoccupied or during sleeping hours saves you money on your utility bills. Energy.gov claims that adjusting your temperature setting by 7-10 degrees for at least 8 hours a day can save up to 10% on your utility bill!
Clean The Condensation Drain Line
Your air conditioner’s condensation line drains the moisture and condensation away from your indoor air handler outside through PVC piping. This piping should always remain clear of clogs as it prevents a water overflow inside of your home. A cleared condensation line prevents drip pan overflow which could lead to major water damage. Additionally, a cleared condensation drain keeps your system running smoothly and efficiently.
The humidity of the summer can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew in your condensation drain line. To maintenance your condensation drain line, start by using a wet-dry vacuum to clear any clogs or blockages. Next, pour a cleaning solution (distilled vinegar and hot water, hot water and a drop of dish liquid, peroxide, or a cup of bleach) into the line from the top of your drain line. Removing blockages from your condensation drain line will prevent the need for more costly repairs if not addressed. Cleaning the drain line will reduce mildew smells that could impact your home’s air quality.
Schedule Maintenance With A Professional
The fall is a great time to have your home’s HVAC system undergo routine maintenance by an HVAC professional. Conducting professional maintenance of your HVAC system can catch minor problems that could potentially turn into major problems if not addressed. For Smith & Keene Signature Service Plan members, regular maintenance and inspection of your home’s system are included in your low monthly fee. Having your system inspected by a professional can keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, saving you money on your monthly utility bills as well. Not a Signature Service member yet? Learn about the regular maintenance plans offered and other benefits. Join today!
Consider Replacing Your System
If your HVAC system has been struggling the past several seasons, it may be a good time to invest in a new system. A professional HVAC installation and repair technician at Smith & Keene can guide you in selecting the most efficient and effective new heating and cooling system for your home. Tackling this project in the fall will save you from being without a heat source if your aged unit fails in the heart of the winter. Call to schedule an appointment with Smith & Keene today.
Contact the expert HVAC team at Smith & Keene to evaluate your current system and make recommendations for the appropriate heating and cooling system to keep your family comfortable all year round.