1. Change air filter - Air filters should be changed bi-monthly or monthly if you have someone with allergies or asthma in your home. Use this opportunity to make sure you have a fresh air filter in your HVAC unit. Dirty filters hinder airflow and make your HVAC work harder, which uses more energy and costs you more money, plus adds wear and tear to your system.
2. Change thermostat settings - As the weather turns colder, you'll want to adjust your thermostat settings to be cooler when you are not home and to warm up when you normally arrive home. This way you save money and energy without sacrificing comfort.
3. Clean the coils - Clean the condenser and evaporator coil on the outdoor unit. Brush away dirt, grime, leaves, lawn clippings and other debris from the coils.
4. Clean away debris from the exterior unit - Clean the exterior and around coils to remove gunk and debris that can hinder airflow. Also make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed back away from the unit to avoid impeding airflow from growing foliage.
5. Insulate pipes - Use foam pipe covers to cover pipes and electrical wiring from the unit to your home. Secure it in place with duct tape. This will help prevent freezing and cracking pipes during the colder months.
6. Test the heat - Test the heat to ensure it's working before you actually need it. It might have a slight burning smell for the first hour or two as the unit burns off any dust that has collected inside. If the heat doesn't work, you can call a pro to look at it before you actually need it on a cold day or night.
7. Have your system professionally cleaned and inspected - Having a professional out to service your system includes lubricating motors, checking belts for tightness and wear and tear, inspecting and tightening electrical connections, testing for and sealing duct leaks, verifying proper operation of the system, testing airflow, calibrating the thermostat and checking the refrigerant levels. It's ideal to have this professional service in the fall before you turn on the heat and in the spring before you fire up the A/C.
Fall is just a few short weeks away. Take some time now to prep your HVAC system for the cooler fall weather so you don't end up with no heat on a cold day or night. A little preparation now can save you money from an emergency service call later.