For your HVAC system, that is. For much of the month of October, we here in the area are usually in this weather sweet spot between warm and cool. It’s such a sweet spot that you might find yourself switching off the A/C and opening the windows.
But we think you should take a little more advantage of this reduced need for air conditioning. How do you do that? Fall is the perfect time for maintenance—and here’s how it could go for you.
If you’re a savvy air conditioning owner, you know that DIY is one of the most expedient (and cheap) ways to get things done. In fact, since your HVAC system should be checked twice a year—once in spring, once in fall, to prepare for the heavy usage of summer and winter—doing your own maintenance checks will get easier over time. Here are some things that you can do for DIY maintenance:
- Set the house thermostat for maximum winter efficiency—which is 68 degrees. (78 in summer)
- Check all electrical connections and tighten them
- Use a voltmeter to ensure that the enough energy is running to the system
- Lubricate moving parts
- Check the condensate drain for blockages
- Check all connections and replace all that are cracked or displaced
- Of course, check the air filter in your indoor air return (replace it every 90 days but check it once a month)
Or, you can simply follow this visual guide for step-by-step maintenance if you really have no idea what you’re doing. And hey, you can always call in an air conditioning contractor if you get stuck.
Did you know that most air conditioning contractors such as Halo Heating & Cooling have pre-paid plans that include bi-annual HVAC tune-ups? So you see, doing fall maintenance on your HVAC unit isn’t just a nice idea—it’s actually a good one!
So what does a professional do that you haven’t thought of in your DIY maintenance? A heating contractor will look at the following:
- system controls
- lubrication of all moving parts
- securing of all electrical connections
- verify correct thermostat operation
- inspection of condensate drain
While most of these things are on our DIY list, if you’ve never touched your HVAC unit by yourself, it’s good to watch someone else do the work, if nothing else than to show you how to do so in the future. But one of the best perks of having a heating contractor do the work is peace of mind—you know that he hasn’t missed anything, and this protects your home.
If you need any repairs, you can, obviously, choose to do these yourself or hire a heating contractor. You might need a professional repair if, for example, there is a hole in any of the metal pipes. Many times this hole can be welded in place so that you aren’t replacing an entire pipe, and this is best done by a professional (and it’s better than replacing the whole unit!). But if it’s something simple like a blocked condensate drain, you can simply unblock it by vacuuming out the drain with a wet/dry vac. It all depends on how severe the repair is. But no matter what condition your HVAC unit is in this fall, it’s better to work on it when you don’t need to use it so much, don’t you think?
What do you do in fall with your HVAC unit?
Whether you’re a hardcore DIY-er or like to leave things to the professionals for peace of mind, doing HVAC maintenance in the weather sweet spot is a good idea. Go over checklists like this one to make sure you’re keeping up with maintenance year round.
What do you like to do to your HVAC unit in the fall? Or maybe you’ve never even thought about making sure it’s running properly, and this post has inspired you. No matter where you land on the HVAC maintenance spectrum, we want to hear from you! Leave a comment in the box below.