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How to Prepare Your HVAC for the Heating Season

How to Prepare Your HVAC for the Heating Season

The summer is done and the temperatures are going to start dropping soon enough. That means that your HVAC system will no longer need to cool your home down from all that scorching heat. However, very soon you might want to use its other function – heating. Even if the temperatures outside aren’t as low, in the evenings it can get quite chilly, and there’s no need to be cold just because your HVAC is not ready for use. Oh, and don’t forget to manage the air quality when the heat is on. Here’s an interesting article on that topic https://www.actionac.net/uncategorized/heating-system-indoor-air-quality.

Regular Maintenance
It is important to do regular maintenance on your HVAC before you start using it for heating purposes. It makes more sense to do it now, while outside temperatures aren’t as low than later on when it’s cold and any interruption in heating is very noticeable. The worst thing you can do is not perform the maintenance at all. Not only does the maintenance prevent problems from happening, it can also fix small problems you may not even be aware of before they escalate.

Costs
HVAC systems are a big investment and any repair done on them can be costly. That’s why it is better to invest in regular maintenance. It also prolongs the life expectancy of the whole system.

Replace or Clean the Filters
Air filters need to be maintained regularly more than any other part of your HVAC system. They collect all sorts of dirt and debris and are a fertile soil for the growth of bacteria and mould if not tended to. Your HVAC system most probably came with a recommendation on how often you should do this. Anywhere between once a month and once a season, depending on the model.

Clear Out the Outside Unit
Your outside unit is the most affected by the elements. However, it needs to be clean and unobstructed in order to function properly. Make sure that there’s nothing on or close to it. Give the unit about 2 feet of space. And don’t forget to clean any dirt and debris on and around it.

Inspect the Ducts
Modern HVAC systems have ducts going all through the house. It’s important that there are no obstructions in these ducts in order to equally distribute the warmth. If there is an obstruction somewhere in the ducts, there’s a chance that certain parts of the system will overheat or even catch fire.

Furthermore, the HVAC ducts are also susceptible to mould infestation if not maintained properly. A thorough cleaning should be enough to prevent mould growth for a season, but the maintenance needs to be done regularly.

Regulate Your Thermostat
Your HVAC has an optimal running range. For most residential HVAC systems that range is somewhere between 60 and 68°. You should try to keep it within these parameters and not push it too much out of that range.

Your thermostat is most likely still set for the summer temperatures. You should have the HVAC technician calibrate it before the start of the heating season.

Anything Out of the Ordinary
Finally, once all of the big parts have been inspected, the technician will need to go through all of the parts of your system in order to find any problems. That includes all of the tubes and bolts, as well as the electrical parts.

Some aspects of the regular maintenance can be done by a homeowner, but there are some important parts of the inspection which most people are simply not qualified to do. Make sure that you have a good HVAC technician at hand.

 

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