Are you enjoying the cooler temperatures that have arrived now that the summer heat waves have lifted? Are you eagerly awaiting the falling leaves and the upcoming holiday season? Don’t let your HVAC system get lost in the excitement. The fall is a great time to make sure it’s running at maximum efficiency and to look for discounts on any repairs you’ve been putting off so that you can budget for holiday travel and other expenses. Take these heating and cooling maintenance steps today:
The first step to reducing your energy bills and to reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system is to make sure you aren’t needlessly adding to its workload. On a day when your air conditioner is still running, feel around the inside and outside of every exterior door and window in your home. If you feel cold air blowing out or warm air coming in, add fresh weatherstripping or caulk to seal the gap and keep comfortable inside air in and uncomfortable outside air out.
Does it feel much warmer or colder along your outer walls? Does your ceiling feel warm or cool to the touch? If so, your home may not be adequately insulated. Especially in the attics of older homes, builders often apply only the minimum insulation. Having insulation added to your attic or walls can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to reduce your energy bills. Think about it like turning your home into a giant thermos.
Are there any problems with your air conditioner that you just kept putting off during the summer? The fall is a good time to have someone take a look at it. Once summer heat waves end, HVAC contractors aren’t as busy with emergency calls and have more convenient appointment times available. There will also often be discounts available on work performed in the offseason. In addition, your AC’s efficiency will probably go up and save on your cooling costs next summer.
If you’re not already in the habit of regularly changing or cleaning your air filter, it’s time to start. A dirty or clogged air filter reduces how much air can pass through your heating and cooling system, makes them run longer to reach the same temperature, and sends your energy bills skyrocketing. Find out how often your filter needs to be replaced, and mark the date on your calendar. One of the biggest causes of procrastination is not having a replacement filter on hand, so stock up with replacements for at least the next six months when you go to the store.
Is your water heater in a basement, garage, or other unconditioned space? If so, it’s efficiency could suffer greatly in the winter when cold air surrounds it and makes it work harder to keep your water hot. Even if it is in a conditioned space, your home is probably still far cooler than your hot water temperature at any time of the year. To minimize the amount of energy your water heater uses, wrap it in an insulation blanket.
Before truly cool weather arrives, make sure your heating system is primed to handle it. You don’t want to find out it’s not up to the task when the first freezing spell arrives. Schedule a tuneup now to make sure your system:
While there’s a small fee for a tune-up, it’s more than offset by the peace of mind of knowing that you’re unlikely to end up blowing your holiday budget on an emergency repair as well as the lower heating bills that will come with your system being tuned to work at its best.
Do you need a pro to help with your heating and cooling maintenance? Contact us today.