As you read this post, the start of fall is just a handful of days away. Your air conditioner has been working hard all summer long, but the hand-off from cooling to heating is about to take place, and soon it will be your heater’s turn to shine.
Or at least you hope your heating system will shine as winter arrives… but that will be entirely up to you! In this post, find out when is the best time to schedule your fall HVAC checkup and what should be done to ensure your entire system is primed and ready for whatever winter brings.
What You Can Do, Starting Now
In addition to twice-annual professional A/C checkups and once-annual heating checkups, you can take an active role in the health and efficiency of your own cooling and heating system.
Here are tasks you should complete at least every 30 days:
- Check and change the air filter.
- Upgrade to a HEPA-rated filter or filtration system if you struggle with allergies.
- Inspect the exterior of your unit(s) and brush away any debris, dirt, or dust that could work its way into the inner mechanisms and block or damage it.
What Your A/C Unit Needs Before Winter
If you’ve been enjoying cool indoor air this summer, you know who you have to thank for that—your tireless A/C unit. Now your air conditioner needs something from you to ensure it will be able to jump back into action when spring arrives.
Unless you feel very confident working with HVAC equipment, these preventative maintenance and tune-up tasks should be done by a licensed professional:
- Check the refrigerant levels and add more refrigerant as needed.
- Clean the A/C unit coils (evaporator and condenser).
- Clean the blower and blower motor.
- Check the condensate drain pan to be sure it is not blocked or overflowing.
- Schedule your air duct cleaning.
How to Get Your Heater Ready for Fall
As your air conditioner prepares for a well-deserved vacation, it is time for your heater to put its game face on. Fall will be here shortly, and winter will be right behind it.
Here again, unless you have prior training working with HVAC and heating equipment, it is recommended that these maintenance tasks be done by a licensed HVAC professional:
- Check the connections between your heating unit and power sources to be sure they are tight, clean, and secure.
- Check to be sure the heat exchanger or burner is not dirty or cracked.
- Add a new layer of lubricant to any moving parts, including the motor and fan belt.
- Check the furnace flue (if applicable) for corrosion.
- Inspect and repair or replace any worn or broken parts.
- Check and (if necessary) tighten all connecting parts.
- Take your heating unit through a test-run cycle to test start, cycling, and stop.
- Listen for any odd sounds (knocking, banging, humming, etc.) and also do a “sniff test” for any unusual odors.
- Check the thermostat to be sure the temperature is accurate.
- Do an extra safety check on cords, wires, conductors, insulation, and power connectors to ensure all are fire-safe.
- Dust and clean outside and inside the heating unit.
- Check the location of the heating unit to be sure it is in a safe and protected area that is free from debris (this is especially important if it is housed outside).
Is It Time to Replace Your Heating Unit?
By taking a proactive, preventative approach to fall heating maintenance, you may just discover that your heating unit has already put its best years behind it. While you may be tempted to see if your heater can make it through one final grueling winter season, the worry that each cold day could be its last can make your winter very unpleasant and stressful!
Looking on the bright side, you can have significant cost savings by choosing to upgrade your heating unit before it breaks down and the replacement need becomes urgent and immediate. Then, it is too late to price-compare to save the most money.
But by taking a preventative approach to your upgrade, you reap all of these benefits and more:
- You have time to shop at your leisure for the best deals and prices.
- You can take advantage of any available rebates or energy credits.
- You can size your new heater to be a perfect fit for your house size and heating needs.
- You can evaluate different types of heaters (i.e., furnace, radiant heater, heat pump, heating boiler, gas fireplace) and combinations of heat sources to find the most economical combination.
- You can begin saving up to 20 percent on your monthly energy costs by choosing an Energy Star-rated heater.
- You can ensure your indoor air is dust-free and humidity-balanced for the seasons.
- You can cut down on the noise level during cycles by upgrading to a newer, quiet operation heating unit.
Contact Shipton’s Heating & Cooling for Help
Here at Shipton’s, a family-owned and operated business, we have been serving the Hamilton and surrounding communities for nearly a century. Because we both live and work where our customers live and work, we understand the high demands that our local seasons can place on even the most efficient HVAC unit.
Our goal is to make sure you are always cool and comfy in summer and warm and cozy in winter. If you need to schedule your annual HVAC inspection and maintenance service call or you are thinking that this may be the year to upgrade your HVAC unit, reach us by phone at 905-549-4616 or online. We look forward to serving you.