Every year, as the leaves here in Maryland start to change color to fiery orange, deep crimson, and rich brown, an alarm clock of sorts sounds in my head—not to get me out of bed in the morning, but rather to remind me it’s once again time for our Fall HVAC maintenance tips.
Come Fall, I make sure my own HVAC unit is ready to make the switch from cooling to heating, something that can put a strain on the system, much like transitioning from our hot Maryland summers to chilly, damp winters can put a strain on us. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is surprise furnace repairs in the middle of a cold snap. So, as your AC cools off after a long Summer of stellar service and your furnace gears up to take things over for the Winter, always perform a thorough, routine maintenance to make sure everything is up to snuff.
While some minor tasks are okay for you to tackle yourself, it’s important to call in a professional to perform a thorough preventative furnace maintenance each Fall to ensure your entire system is well-looked after—and that your furnace is safe to run through the Winter. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our Fall HVAC maintenance tips!
DIY Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
After a long summer cooling your home, your AC might be a little tired. Your furnace, on the other hand, is just coming out of hibernation and needs a little TLC in order to get going again. To make this transition from cooling to heating as smoothly as possible for your entire HVAC system, here are a few simple but important things you can do yourself:
- Tip #1: Clean the vents. Debris can really build up in your HVAC unit while it works hard during the Summer months. It’s a good idea to check all your vents for any dirty build up and vacuum them out to ensure proper airflow and prevent the circulation of dust in your home.
- Tip #2: Change the air filter. Installing a fresh air filter in your HVAC unit is one of the easiest things you can do to make sure your system is running efficiently. When filters get clogged, the entire system gets bogged down and your furnace has to work harder, resulting in unnecessary strain. Be sure to change your filter out every 2-3 months, or more frequently if you have pets. Pet hair and dander will build up quickly on your vents and filters.
- Tip #3: Check and set your thermostat. If your thermostat is programmable, make sure you adjust it accordingly for the cold Winter months. If it isn’t, you might want to consider replacing it with a programmable smart thermostat so you can set it to your schedule, lowering the temperature during times you won’t be at home. This way, you can make sure your furnace isn’t working extra hard when it doesn’t have to be. Not only will this extend the lifespan of your system, it will save you big bucks on energy bills as well.
- Tip #4: Tidy up around the outdoor unit. I love the falling leaves as much as the next guy, but they have a tendency to get caught up in your outdoor unit—and can even be a fire hazard. Clear away any leaves, dirt, and debris from your outdoor unit to ensure that airflow isn’t being restricted for the health of your entire system.
- Tip #5: Take your furnace for a test run! You should always do this before it gets cold-cold because if there’s an issue, you want to know right away. Usually the first time you turn on the heat in the Fall, it will have a burning smell. But don’t worry…that burnt smell is just dust that’s settled on the heating components over the last few months of being stagnant and it will go away quickly. Worst case scenario, if your heat doesn’t come on, call us so we can get a technician out. This is why you want to give it a test run early in the season.
The Importance of Preventative Fall HVAC Maintenance
While there are some things that you can do on your own when it comes to Fall Furnace maintenance, in-depth maintenance should definitely be left to the pros. In fact, this may be my best tip of all.
Since HVAC systems are so complex, I always recommend having an experienced HVAC professional come out to your home to perform preventative maintenance twice a year, in the Spring before the AC season kicks in and again in the Fall before our furnaces rev up for the Winter. Having maintenance done at the beginning of each season is key to ensuring that your system will run safely and smoothly all year long. And if that isn’t enough of a reason, having proper maintenance done will also save you money on your energy bills and extend the life of your HVAC unit.
Here are some of the key tasks our PROfessional TECHnicians will do when performing seasonal preventative maintenance:
- Detect and fix minor problems before they require major, expensive repairs
- Test and inspect the entire HVAC system for safety, including a thorough inspection of the heat exchanger in the Fall for any dangerous leaks
- Clean and lubricate the system thoroughly, including cleaning the flame sensor assembly and cleaning and adjusting burners
- Test and calibrate the thermostat to ensure proper function and efficiency
- Test, inspect and tighten gas connections and wiring
As you can probably tell, Fall HVAC maintenance takes a lot of work—and a lot of expertise—to do it right. But it’s well worth paying someone to do it. HVAC maintenance is so effective at preventing major problems and keeping your system functioning optimally that some companies even have HVAC maintenance service contracts that offer reduced rates for bi-annual maintenance and tune-ups.
By combining these simple DIY Fall maintenance tips with a professional tune-up, you can sit back and enjoy the falling autumn leaves knowing that your furnace will keep you warm during the chilly Maryland Winter and that your AC is in good shape to hibernate for the season. So, the next time you look up at the beautiful changing trees this fall, I hope an alarm clock will go off in your head too, reminding you that it’s time for fall HVAC maintenance.
What Does Fall Furnace/Heat Pump Preventative Maintenance Typically Include?
During Fall Furnace/Heat Pump Maintenance, Pro-Tech HVAC Home will perform the below services and ensure your system is up and running for those chilly Winter months! Our Fall Furnace/Heat Pump Preventative Maintenance includes:
- Check thermostat operation
- Replace customer-supplied filters
- Replace customer-supplied humidifier pad
- Test temperature difference between return & supply
- Check for correct airflow settings
- Clean & adjust burners
- Clean flame sensor assembly
- Test & adjust outlet gas pressure
- Test & adjust operation of safety & operating controls
- Inspect flue pipe & gas valve
- Check for gas leaks
- Test & inspect all wiring & connections
- Check blower motor & amperage draw
- Test carbon monoxide levels
- Turn dampers to heating position
We’re Here to Help!
We’re currently scheduling Fall preventative maintenance appointments in November, December and January 2024. Contact us or request a time online today so we can get you on our schedule! We’ll make sure your system is running in tip-top shape to keep you COMFY all Winter long!
Pro-Tech HVAC Home is Your Top Rated Local HVAC Company!
When it comes to HVAC services, you need to work with a company with a stellar reputation for providing service that is guaranteed to solve your problems once and for all. As Annapolis’ Top Rated Local HVAC contractor, that’s what you get with Pro-Tech HVAC Home. Our customers rely on us for fast, friendly service at a fair price. Our #1 priority is keeping our Annapolis neighbors comfortable all year long!
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Pro-Tech HVAC Home offers new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for you and your family. We’re always happy to help answer your questions, so please give us a call or send us an email.