With the calendar rolling into September, it’s only a matter of time before temperatures begin to cool. The stress and blistering heat of summer is nearly past, and before long the cool temperatures of winter will be here. Of course, anyone who lives in the Inland Empire knows that winter can be anything but mild, and that makes fall the perfect time to get some important things done. Perhaps most important among them, fall is the best time to perform some critical maintenance on your home.
When you talk about fall home maintenance, most people think of mowing the grass and getting it ready for its dormant state of winter or cleaning out the rain gutters so they don’t flood with any rain we get over the winter and spring. However, you should also use this opportunity to perform some critical maintenance on some of your home’s most important systems. Over the next month, we’ll take a look at some of the maintenance you should perform on the various major systems in your home, with a different one in focus each week.
Fall Heating & Air Conditioning Maintenance
As we stated previously, fall is one of the best times to maintain your heater or air conditioner. The milder temperatures mean your air conditioner use will begin to dwindle, but you more than likely won’t need your furnace just yet. With that being said, you likely want to prepare your air conditioner for the months where it will go dormant as well as get your furnace ready for the long hours of use it may see during frigid nights and even some colder days in our desert climate.
First and foremost, you’ll want to prepare your furnace. Your furnace likely hasn’t been used in months—probably since the earliest days of spring, at the latest—so some wear and tear has likely happened with the passage of time. Think of it like moving a muscle you haven’t moved in quite a while; you experience some pain while it gets used to moving around again. Your furnace is the same way—months of non-operation mean there will be some groaning and creaking as it comes back to life.
However, you can make turning on your furnace easier with these valuable tips.
- Change your air filter. If you have a central heating and cooling system (as most homes do), then your air filter could very well be dirty and clogged up with dust and debris from week after week of use straining the air for your air conditioner. You should be checking your air filter at least once per month, but if you haven’t been, now’s the time to check the filter and see what kind of condition it’s in. If your filter is dirty, replace it. If it’s not, reinstall it and you should be good to go. However, you should still continue to check your filter once a month to ensure it’s removing everything it possibly can.
- Program your thermostat. With the weather cooling off, now’s the time to adjust your programmable thermostat (if you have one). You’ll want to check and adjust the heating program, ensuring that target temperatures are at optimal levels for the right time of day. When the kids are away at school and the adults are off at work, set the temperature lower to save energy. When everyone will be home, set the temperature higher to enjoy your home in comfort. Most modern thermostats even give you the ability to adjust the program for weekends when your schedule will be different.
- Have your HVAC system inspected and maintained. Professional maintenance is like a tune-up or oil change service for your car: A professional inspects your system, performs important maintenance services on it like checking wires, belts, and motors, lubricating moving parts, and so much more. Without this service, your system will be inefficient, more prone to breaking down, and will even need replaced sooner.
Time to Replace?
If you need to replace your HVAC system, fall is the best time to do so. Availability with professional contractors is usually high, which means it’s usually possible to complete your replacement service within as little as two to three days. Likewise, when you replace your HVAC system in the autumn, you’ll be able to enjoy a brand-new, energy-efficient furnace all winter long. Plus it also gives you the opportunity to replace your thermostat, giving you the option to install one of the aforementioned programmable models or even a wi-fi connected smart thermostat.
Schedule a maintenance service or learn more about replacing your system entirely by calling the experts at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 253-0664 today.
This is the first in a four-part blog series about some valuable ways to maintain your home’s major systems this fall. Come back on September 16th for the second part in this series, in which we’ll discuss valuable fall maintenance for your plumbing.