Winter is just around the corner, and if it’s been a while since your HVAC system had any attention, it’s a good idea to schedule a tune-up before the temperature drops too long. Some HVAC maintenance you can do on your own, but some should be done by a professional: A full tune-up takes care of the whole thing so you don’t have to worry about it. Here are several of the most important maintenance steps your heating and cooling system needs in the fall!
Replace your HVAC filters in preparation for the coldest months. Because homes in winter tend to be more “closed systems” filters are the main defense against any dust or allergens that are brought into the home over time. If the filter gets clogged, then the system can’t move air like it should and many problems result. Check your new filter every month or so after the replacement to make sure it isn’t getting too filled with dust.
Check Refrigerant Level
This is particularly important for heat pumps, which need to use refrigerant to move a whole lot of heat during the winter. Refrigerant can decrease over time, and a good tune-up will always be sure to check refrigerant levels and add more of the right refrigerant (but not too much more). This is another step that’s best left to professionals with the right tools and knowledge.
Check for Clogs and Debris
You will want to make sure that any drains are clear before winter sets in (debris and cold weather is a poor combination). Any outdoor parts of the AC system should also be cleaned, and any debris removed for optimal performance. If you’re afraid you waited too long for this step, don’t worry – it’s a good idea to head out toward the end of fall and clean up any leaves or needles that may have gotten trapped in the unit anyway.
Check Defrost Settings
Another important step for heat pumps: Heat pumps need to enter a defrost cycle ever several hours when heating in winter (otherwise, frost build up on the outside unit and impedes function). A tune-up will ensure that the defrost cycle works properly. If defrost is controlled by settings, then professionals will make sure the settings are correct.
Check the Fan System
The fan and fan belt should be in good condition and ready to work. Often, a little lubricant and cleaning are all the fan needs to get ready for winter. Sometimes, a tune-up will uncover a worn fan belt that should be replaced before it breaks.
A good tune-up will always include a check of basic unit integrity and any screws or other fasteners. Tightening these up and repairing any cracks will help keep your HVAC unit quiet and safe!
Have additional questions about your air conditioning? Do you want advice on what solutions work best for your home? Contact us today to learn more!