We have reached the time of year where the AC is ready to be turned off and the windows are waiting to be opened. Who knows how long the brisk fall weather will last this year? It’s always a mystery. As you let the comforting breeze sweep through your house, it’s a perfect opportunity to get your HVAC tuned up to handle the winter cold. Make sure when the temperatures take a nose-dive, your furnace is ready to kick on and do its job.
Ready Your AC For Hibernation
The transition from using the air conditioner to the furnace requires more than flipping the switch from cooling to heating on your thermostat. Your air conditioning unit was built to be outdoors and able to withstand the elements. To maintain the health of your unit and extend its lifetime, clear any fallen leaves, weeds, or debris from around your air conditioner. Bugs and insects will be in search of warmer spaces as the temperature dips outside. By keeping the leaves and debris away, you will lessen the chance of unwanted visitors making a home in your air conditioner, potentially causing problems down the road.
Get Your Furnace Ready For The Cooler Weather
Preparing your furnace for the fall and winter does not need to be a time-consuming or difficult task. There are a few simple tasks you can complete to keep your HVAC system in good shape so it can properly function all year long.
Change your air filter
A clogged air filter is a ticking time bomb for HVAC system failure. Not only does a clogged filter decrease air quality, but it also forces your system to work harder to complete the job of heating or cooling your home. If air can not easily pass through the filter, the blower fan will wear out sooner than if you were to regularly change your air filter. You wouldn’t put a towel in front of a fan if you wanted the air to cool you down. Just because your air filter is out of sight doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Check it and replace it every one to three months or if there is build-up.
Check your thermostat settings
If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure to update your schedule to maintain comfortable temperatures. As the outside temperature continues to drop, you will likely want to adjust your settings to keep your living space comfortable.
Look for cracks and gaps in doors and windows
Take a close look at your doors and windows to see if you need to seal cracks or gaps. The smallest opening can allow the outside air to blow in or the warmer air to escape your home. Use caulking, sealant, or weather stripping to patch up the problematic areas. By doing so you will maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system and maintain a more consistent temperature throughout the house.
Set your ceiling fans to spin clockwise
The angle of your ceiling fan blades play an important role in either cooling or warming up the living space it occupies. A flat fan blade would not be very effective and most ceiling fan blades are at a 12-15 degree angle. When your fan spins clockwise the fan blades will pull the warm air upward. This will redistribute the warm air and make you feel more comfortable.
When the winter weather comes to a close, be sure to switch your fan setting back to counter-clockwise. Doing so will help you feel up to 8 degrees cooler.
Get a professional HVAC tune-up
Schedule a professional to come take a look at your furnace. A licensed technician will have the proper equipment and training to inspect and maintain your HVAC. Regular maintenance will bring you Peace of Mind with your HVAC system all year long.
3 Myths for HVAC During Colder Weather
A space heater is more efficient
A space heater is a great solution for heating, well, spaces, not whole homes. If you have a one-bedroom apartment or a small home, a space heater might be enough to provide warmth. Your furnace is the most energy-efficient method to heat a whole home. If you have followed the HVAC tips recommended above, your system will be functioning as it should with the capability to heat your whole home equally. Additionally, you won’t run the risk of water pipes freezing up in a cold snap. To top it all off, space heaters are the cause of a significant number of house fires in the winter. Put your furnace to use this fall and winter. It’s the best tool for the job.
Using your oven to heat your home
Have you ever been tempted to keep the oven cracked to spread some warmth throughout your home? You figure you’ll give the HVAC a break and make the most of the 425-degree food furnace that just cooked your dinner. What’s the big deal? Carbon monoxide. Your home appliances were made to serve a single purpose. Don’t compromise your safety for the sake of trying to be more efficient.
Covering your AC unit
It is popular among homeowners to cover the AC unit with a tarp when it is not being used. This seems like a logical thing to do to act as a shield from below-freezing temperatures and intense snowfall. However, your AC unit was built to withstand the outdoors. Fully covering your unit can trap moisture and provide a home for bugs and rodents. If you want to protect your air conditioner from debris, we recommend covering only the top of the unit.
Schedule Furnace Maintenance With Wyckoff
Don’t wait until it’s too late to schedule service on your furnace. Even if your system was running perfectly at the end of last winter, it is important to have an annual inspection to keep your system working at its best. When you sign up for the Wyckoff Heating & Cooling Peace of Mind service plan, you will receive an annual inspection for your furnace and AC. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions!