Autumn is here, and it’s time for HVAC systems to be checked, cleaned and prepared for winter.
Don’t put this task off. Even if it’s still warm outside, homeowners should prioritize HVAC checkups. If you procrastinate until the temperature has reached freezing, you may realize you need new parts or even a new furnace. Avoid the headache and utilize these five ways to prepare your system for the new season:
1. Check and Clean Condenser Unit and Coils
Before cold weather hits, clean your outside condenser unit.
First, turn off the unit’s power and spray the condenser with a hose. Next, open the lid, pull back the fan and remove debris like leaves and dead bugs. Continue to clear debris and dirt with the hose if necessary.
Condenser coils can be a little trickier to locate and clean, so contact a professional for help if you’re unsure. You can also read your manufacturer’s manual for guidance.
Shut off the unit’s power before examining coils, then check to see if they’re dirty. If so, clean with a rag, warm water and detergent. Coils shouldn’t be overlooked because replacements can be expensive.
2. Clear Away Debris
Your HVAC’s outdoor components endure every type elemental impact: glaring summer sunshine, rain, and organic particles like globs of leaves, dead bugs, pollen, sticks and more. This grime can obstruct HVAC airflow, so it’s important to clear away debris each season.
Next, check at least two feet around the unit. Cut back shrubbery or tall grass that may have become overgrown during summer.
3. Replace Air Filters & Clean Vents
Air filters get filled with debris during the summer. Replacing them in September ensures against obstructed airflow and furnace issues. For added security, replace filters every other month. Replacing filters is easy — just open the filter panel, remove the filter, replace and close the panel.
Maintain clean airflow by cleaning vents in your home. Since they easily accumulate dust, vacuum the vents seasonally to remove unwanted particles.
4. Keep an Eye Out for HVAC Hazards
Ask yourself a few basic autumn prep questions to ensure there are no potential hazards. Are there:
- unexpected, unusual sounds coming from the unit?
- strange odors coming from the system?
- indications of electrical damage such as black marks?
- issues with unit’s stability? Is it level?
5. Prepare the Furnace
To avoid fire hazards, clear the area surrounding your furnace. Furniture, clothes or any items stored too close should be moved at least three feet away. Next, wipe down the furnace, which can accumulate dust, then wipe and vacuum the surrounding area. Clean the furnace access panel, too.
HVAC maintenance is key to system longevity. The team at Roberts Mechanical installs and repairs HVAC systems, so if you run into issues during your autumn prep, don’t hesitate to call us for help!