How to prepare your HVAC system for fall and winter
Even the newest and best-installed HVAC systems require regular maintenance to keep them humming. But what should you do/have done year over year to make sure that your home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter? Here are some simple and straightforward things you can do to maintain your HVAC system.
Simple HVAC Maintenance Tasks
Some of our favorite, must-do tasks you can complete to keep your HVAC system in tiptop shape are:
Change the air filter
HVAC systems contain a variety of air filters to keep dust and other particles out of your heating and cooling systems. These filters can quickly become filled with dirt, grime, mold, and other nasty bits.
Swap out your old air filters every couple of months (or 90 days at most) to keep the air in your HVAC system cycling smoothly.
Also, when you’re putting a new filter into your system, make sure you don’t skimp on the type of filter you buy. Yes, it may be tempting to grab the cheapest one you found at the Novi Home Depot. But we strongly recommend you try one of the new high-efficiency pleated air filters.
Clear the area around the unit
For those of you who have an outdoor air conditioning unit, it’s important to keep the immediate area around the unit free of debris. Fall in Michigan, especially metro Detroit, means dead leaves, weeds, and other vegetation may begin to collect around the unit and its intakes. This can obstruct proper airflow, interfere with the operation of the unit, and, eventually, cause damage to the HVAC system.
Listen for strange noises
This one’s an easy one. Simply keep one ear open for any strange noises emanating from your HVAC system. While each system is different, what you’re listening for here are any sudden changes in the way your particular system sounds. New clunks, clanks, whistles, or buzzes are cause for concern, especially if they’re noticeably loud.
Know when to turn to the pros
The most important factor in proper fall and winter HVAC maintenance is knowing when you can handle things on your own and when you should call in a professional. Remember, these systems can be worth tens of thousands of dollars and proper maintenance and care are crucial to keeping them running for their full potential lifespans.
Attempting to tackle complex mechanical problems by your lonesome and without proper training or equipment is a recipe for disaster. Worst case scenario, you hurt yourself and damage your HVAC system.
But how do you know when it’s time to call in a professional and when you can fix a minor problem on your own? Basically, simple tasks like replacing air filters, cleaning debris around your air conditioning unit, and inspecting for obvious, external damage are generally pretty safe tasks to perform on your own. If you require anything more complex than that, or if you find that you’re uncomfortable doing even these things by yourself, it may be time to call in the heavies.
Preventative Maintenance Plans
Because of the importance and value of your HVAC system, it’s almost certainly worth your time and money to sign up for a preventative maintenance plan with a qualified professional. We at Dean Mechanical in Wixom offer a preventative maintenance plan that will keep your HVAC system running strong, year after year.
Keeping your HVAC system in working order isn’t rocket science. It just takes a little bit of diligence and thought to extend the life of your units to their functional limits. If you take nothing else from this article, remember to do the simple things (changing air filters, cleaning debris, etc.) on your own and call in the professionals for the more complex tasks. Your HVAC system, and your wallet, will thank you.