September 23rd is the first official day of fall and it is fast approaching. As you prepare your home for the new season, consider taking a look at your HVAC system. It’s one of the most impressive (and expensive) appliances in your home, which is why it’s important to ensure it is functioning properly. To help you prepare your HVAC system for the colder months, here are some of OnTime Service’s HVAC maintenance tips for the fall.
Replace Your Filter
Before you do any other maintenance for your HVAC system, replace your air filter. A clogged air filter can reduce air flow, cause your unit to run longer and even lead to a frozen evaporator coil. Changing your filter is the first step to taking care of your HVAC unit and ensuring your energy costs don’t increase suddenly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you change your air filter:
- Your filter is either located in the central return vent or in the air handler in the attic or basement.
- Make sure the replacement filter is the right size. To compare, take out the old filter and look at the dimensions on the side.
- It’s ideal to replace it every 3 months. You might have to replace your filter frequently if you have pets.
- Speak to an HVAC technician about the MERV rating that is best for your AC. The higher the MERV rating of your filter, the more effective it is in trapping dirt and toxins.
- Make sure the arrows on the filter point in the direction of the air flow.
- Clean the vent registers with a vacuum or with a damp cloth after you replace the filter.
Clean Up Your Outdoor Unit
Look at your outdoor unit and be sure to remove any overgrowth of plants and bushes. Your outdoor condenser coils can become dirty if there is excess foliage or dirt surrounding it. To prevent any dirt getting into your outdoor unit, maintain a clearance of at least 2 feet around it.
In addition, you can vacuum the fins of the unit with a soft-bristle brush without bending any fins. Remember to turn your AC off before you do this. For deeper cleaning, unscrew the top grill and lift out the fan without messing with the electrical wires. Carefully pull out any debris and wipe the interior with a damp cloth.
Check for Air Leaks
If you have air leaks in your home, you will need to tackle them ASAP. Air leaks can make your HVAC unit run for longer periods to cool or heat up your home, leading to high energy costs. Air leaks can be caused by cracks in walls, which can be fixed using caulking, or by deteriorated weather stripping around doors and windows which can be easily replaced.
When you’re checking for air leaks, be sure to check your attic for any leaks or improper insulation. It is the highest point in your home which means there is a high likelihood of air escaping from there.
Get Your Ducts Cleaned
Your indoor air constantly circulates through your ducts. If your ducts contain dirt and debris, you could be breathing in air that contains toxins, pollutants, bacteria and mold spores. This could worsen your indoor air quality and increase allergy symptoms. Have an HVAC technician you trust come and look at your ducts to ensure they are clean.
Need HVAC Maintenance? Call OnTime Service!
The best way to prepare your HVAC system for the new season, is to have a reliable and experienced HVAC technician inspect your unit. If you’re looking for any HVAC technicians in the Birmingham or Eastern Shore/Mobile area, look no further than OnTime Service! Our knowledgeable experts proudly serve different areas in Alabama with professionalism and top-notch customer service. Call us today at 205-942-1405 (Birmingham) or 251-272-3595 (Eastern Shore/Mobile). You can also schedule a service with us on our website!