The fall season is an ideal time to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment. Prepping your HVAC system for colder weather can avoid a breakdown and expensive repairs during the winter. If an issue were to happen during a snowstorm, a technician may not be able to get out to your home. And the sooner you schedule maintenance, the easier it will be to get an appointment. Here are a few tips to help get your air conditioning system ready for this winter:
Change HVAC Filters
Change your HVAC filter once at least every 6 months. The filter not only cleans the air, but can create problems for the entire system if it becomes clogged. If airflow is blocked by lint and debris, your AC may become less efficient. The system then works harder, so you may end up with a furnace or other equipment breakdown.
Test Your Heater/Furnace and Thermostat
Check that your furnace is working before it starts getting cold. If there are any issues with your heater, you can spot them early and schedule repairs. Early in the season, perform a test on the system by setting the thermostat to a temperature you’d normally use in the winter. You should hear the system turn on and feel heat coming from the vents. This is also a good time to schedule an annual furnace tune-up and/or, if your thermostat is old or outdated, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat.
Cover the AC Condenser Unit
If you’re no longer using your AC for the season, winterize your outdoor AC unit. You can use any kind of protective, waterproof cover. Even a trash can lid or piece of plywood tied down on top of the unit will do, or you can tie a tarp around it. Shielding the condenser unit from the elements will protect it from cold, ice, and other elements and contribute to long-term reliability. Also, clear the cover of ice and snow as they accumulate.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Alarms
Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be tested once a year. Checking them when HVAC maintenance is done can help remember this important task. Plus, you’ll be indoors with closed doors and windows for the winter months, increasing the risk of a carbon monoxide (CO) leak and its potentially deadly consequences. A furnace maintenance technician should test your CO/smoke alarms during their maintenance visit.
Schedule a Regular Maintenance Appointment
Maintenance has been mentioned several times in this article. And for good reason. No HVAC winter readiness guide would be complete without stating the importance of scheduling an appointment with a maintenance professional. Preventative maintenance can ensure your HVAC system runs effectively this winter and throughout the year. The fall or spring are the best times to schedule an inspection, as your AC system works hardest in winter and summer. Yet any time of the year is fine, so long as the system is thoroughly inspected and minor repairs and adjustments are made.
Nothing takes the place of the expertise of a technician. However, you can help by listening closely for unusual noises or looking for leaks. If you notice anything unusual, inform the technician so they can more quickly find the source of any potential problem.
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Following social distancing guidelines and using enhanced sanitization procedures, Sky Heating & Air Conditioning is open to provide HVAC repair and maintenance in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon. We are here to help with winter maintenance, including furnace tune-ups, HVAC system inspections, and thermostat repair. Call 503-235-9083 today to schedule your service appointment, or feel free to schedule service by submitting a request online.