What comes to mind when you think of Fall? Richly-colored landscapes, chilly weather, boots and scarves? Or maybe Thanksgiving and Pumpkin Spice Lattes? No matter what is on your mind this time of year, you should make sure you are also thinking about your HVAC system. This time of year, we all make the switch from cool air conditioning to the warm heat. It’s important that you consider calling a professional to service your unit before the cold really sets in. Here are just a few reasons why you should service your HVAC unit now.
Reason 1 – Fall Allergies
Allergies aren’t exclusive to the spring season. For many people, they can be just as bad in the fall. This is most commonly due to ragweed, a sturdy plant that can grow just about anywhere. With pollen that can travel in the air for miles, it’s nearly impossible to escape the hay fever it induces. Another common fall allergen is goldenrod, the bright yellow-gold plant that is just as plentiful as ragweed. Additionally, mold is a prevailing air pollutant that runs rampant this time of the year. As temperatures cool, the humidity causes dampness, this leads to ideal conditions in which mold grows. On top of that, as the leaves fall and pile up on or around your outdoor unit, airflow can be restricted and moisture can build up, causing mold to grow around your home. The best way to prevent fall allergies is to invest in the best possible air quality for your home, which brings us to our next point.
Reason 2 – Indoor Air Quality
One of the best things you can do to prevent fall allergies is to improve your home’s indoor air quality. There are multiple ways to do this, all involving minor adjustments to your HVAC system and settings.
- Clean Your System – Take the time to clean the dust and dirt off of your outdoor unit. Rake away any leaves that may get stuck on or inside it. Cut back bushes and trees so there is at least three feet of clearance on all sides; and cut tall, unruly grass and weeds that may grow upon it. This goes for the indoor components, too. Make sure that you leave a few feet of clearance between your furnace or air conditioner and any storage boxes, bins, and items.
- Clean Your House – While it can be a drag, vacuuming and dusting your house will reduce the pollutants that get sucked into your HVAC system. Keep the return grilles clean and clear of blockages, such as furniture so air can freely flow into your unit.
- Replace Your Filter – We can’t stress enough how important it is to change your filter on a regular basis. The filter is what traps the various dust, dirt, and pollen particles to keep your indoor air clean. As the filter gets dirty, some of these pollutants might slip through. A filter that’s too dirty can cause your ductwork to become clogged or your system to malfunction. This small task goes a long way in keeping your home cleaner, reducing allergens, and extending the life of your HVAC system.
- Clean Your Ducts – If there’s a lot of dust and dirt in your home, it’s probably in your ductwork as well. While this is a task that requires a licensed professional, it will work wonders for fall allergies and home cleanliness.
Reason 3 – Changing Over to Heat
Routine bi-annual maintenance is important for ensuring the peak performance of your heating and air conditioning system. The best times to schedule these tasks are in the spring before you need the cool air in the summer, and in the fall before you need the heat for the winter. The question that remains is probably: When do I turn on my heat? You might be tempted to leave it off for as long as possible, but it’s wise to switch over before it gets too cold. Take these steps to transition.
- Test Your Furnace – At an early point in the season, be sure to test your furnace, even if you don’t plan to run it all day. Turn it on for a few minutes just to make sure that everything is working. This will save you from needing a repair after the freezing temperatures have arrived.
- Schedule Furnace Maintenance – So you tested your furnace and it seems to be working fine, now what? Get your furnace tuned up, even if it is working. This will improve performance and prevent any breakdowns. Schedule this as soon as possible to beat the inevitable rush of people requesting services once the cold hits. This will also bring to light any repairs that may need to be done before that time, so you will be ahead of the game.
- Power Down the A/C – Once you’re certain that you won’t be needing the air conditioning until spring, turn it off. Don’t completely cover your outdoor unit, as this could allow a buildup of condensation, which can corrode the unit. You can simply cover the top or even make a shelter for it.
Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your pre-winter tune-up. Contact A/C Masters today! You can call us at (757) 898-2894 to schedule a maintenance appointment. Take the time to ensure that, when you’re ready to start heating your home, your furnace is ready to go.