Can you feel it? About this time of year when the kids go back to school, you can begin to feel a shift in the air. Heady summer air begins to hint at the crispness of fall and its accompanying seasonal charms. But before you grab a pumpkin spice latte and settle in for Friday night football, now is the perfect time to pay attention to your HVAC system that will be transitioning from cooling your home to heating it.
1. Your air filters need to be changed.
If you are like the vast majority of Americans, you likely haven’t thought about changing your air filters in too long. One of the biggest hindrances to the efficiency of your HVAC system is the intake and output of air flow. Clogged air filters not only prevent air from effectively flowing out of your system, but they can also perpetuate the spread of dust, allergens, and mites throughout your home. Fortunately, changing an air filter is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the function of your HVAC system. Filters are available in hardware stores and can vary from basic to high-end allergen reduction models.
2. Now is the time to swap out your thermostat.
Wait, swap it out? Not just change the settings?
Yes. Basic thermostats that gave way to programmable models have now made room for so-called “smart” thermostats. These fully-programmable, intuitive models learn your thermostat behaviors and then automatically adjust the temperature based on your habits. Many are Wi-Fi enabled so they can be controlled via a smartphone app. If you aren’t home, the thermostat will automatically turn the temperature down. On your way home from work? Adjust the temperature with your app. As a bonus, programmable thermostats also sometimes feature energy saving rebates from local utilities.
For more information on programmable thermostats, watch how Zach Dermer Explains When to Use the ON and AUTO Settings on Your Thermostat, and More.
3. Fall leaves and HVAC systems don’t mix.
During fall, you may run your heater one day and your air conditioner the next. Leaves, yard clippings, branches or other yard waste can decrease the efficiency of your system. Be sure to clear the yard clutter as often as necessary, paying special attention to the breezy fall days that may bring your neighbor’s leaves into your yard.
4. An ounce of preventative maintenance is worth a pound of emergency service calls this winter.
Just like your car needs to have its oil changed every 3,000 miles, your HVAC system should be regularly assessed and maintained on an annual basis. This is best done in the fall during less hectic times for service companies, when both your heater and air conditioner may be in use. Certified technicians examine your furnace and air conditioner for cracks, leaks, damage, or wear and can make recommendations for repair or replacement before either is broken on an extreme weather day. Not only can you avoid emergency service calls and uncomfortable temperatures in your home, but you can also often take advantage of seasonal specials that may not be available when you need it.
Fall is the ideal time to prepare your HVAC system for the long Baltimore winter ahead of us. To schedule your HVAC system maintenance, call Farnen and Dermer.