Remember last month when we experienced temperatures in the 60s? Many of our neighbors commented that it reminded them of what should be a late October day and that we'd likely jump back into the 80s and 90s one last time before we officially made our way into Fall. Well, that's exactly what happened. Gotta love "False Fall."
As such, if just a few weeks ago you turned on your heat and then turned on your air conditioning again, you're not alone. Autumn in North Carolina is known for keeping us on our toes. However, before you know it, you'll make that final switch over to heat until April of 2021.
But, is your HVAC completely ready for cooler weather? Today we'll discuss 3 critical steps you should take to prepare your HVAC for winter.
Schedule a Tune-Up
While technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to HVAC systems, it is still absolutely necessary to schedule routine tune-ups to ensure that our HVAC system operates efficiently throughout its lifetime.
An HVAC tune-up keeps everything in order. Just as you would schedule a tune-up for your car when the engine light pops up in your car's dashboard; or scheduling a teeth cleaning ever six months to avoid cavities, you should regularly schedule service for your HVAC (even though there's no light or alarm to prompt you). While you may not have any problems right this minute, by routinely having professional eyes on your system, you can avoid much larger problems in the future.
We highly recommend that you schedule a tune-up with a professional HVAC technician for your HVAC system just before winter and during the Spring.
Replace the Air Filters Throughout Your Home
In addition to scheduling a tune-up for your HVAC, there are a few things that you can do to prepare your HVAC for cooler temperatures, including replacing the air filters throughout your home.
While we recommend that you replace your air filters every three months, it may be easier if you just remember to replace them at the start of each season (at a minimum). As such, if you haven't already, go ahead and replace your air filters now. If you have a house full of kids and pets, you may want to change out your filters even more often (once a month). Dirty air filters will force your HVAC system to work harder which can reduce it's efficiency over time and could mean that you're having to spend big dollars on a new system way too soon.
Perform an Auditory Check of your System
Before you make that official switch to heat, listen to your HVAC. Pick a cooler day and turn it on. Let it operate through a complete cycle and listen for any unusual noises (banging, squealing, clicking, etc). If you hear anything out of the ordinary, it could be your HVAC unit's way of telling you that something is wrong. Go ahead and schedule a service call with us and we'll get to the bottom of the issue.
Physically Inspect Your HVAC
While many single family home's HVAC units are located just outside the exterior of your home, sometimes they are installed in incredibly inconvenient locations such as the basement, crawlspace, closet, etc). Meanwhile, your ventilation system is typically sealed behind the walls with only the vents showing. However, what can be seen is often enough to give you an idea of how healthy your HVAC system is.
At the start of the season, physically inspect your HVAC to see if there are any symptoms that would indicate a problem. Examples include pooling water around the unit, rust along the pipes, and vents, or dirt and debris accumulating around the registers. If you see anything at all that looks suspicious, give us a call so that we can identify the problem before it gets too late into the season.
Do these four things and you should be well prepared to head into cooler weather. However, your job is far from over. Continue to pay attention to your HVAC unit all season long. If you notice a change in the way your furnace is responding, give Choice HVAC a call at 919-435-2711. We’ll ensure everything is operating as it should, keep you warm, safe, and happy all season through.