Throughout my many years in Minnesota, I’ve learned what it takes to weather our harsh winters. My blue coat even came from a season so cold that the snow turned blue. To make your home a refuge from the wind and snow, though, you need to think ahead in the fall to prep your HVAC system for the months to come. Here are a couple of ways you can care for this essential unit this season.
Seasonal HVAC Maintenance for Fall
1. Clear Debris
While a log jam on the Mississippi River only takes a swish of my tail to clear, you don’t need to wait for my help to avoid simple blockages in your HVAC system. When the trees start shaking their leaves, check your exterior unit to assure that it is free of any debris. When the vents are covered in leaves or mud, the system has to work harder to perform its job, raising your energy bills and affecting your heating indoors.
Once that’s cleared, head inside and grab your vacuum. Clean off out any dust that has collected in your air ducts or registers, as it will interfere with air flow. Dirty interior units will also force those particles into your room, contaminating your air supply. This seasonal cleaning will keep everything in order for the coming colder months.
2. Check & Replace Air Filters
Filters assure that the quality of the air you breathe in your home remains top notch. While it’s dirty or clogged from use, though, it will affect the efficiency of the system. You should change out your air filter at least every fall and spring. Additional factors in your home, however, can make a switch necessary even sooner—sometimes even once a month.
If you have pets, for example, the dirt and dander they contribute to the air quality in your home can quickly clog up your filters. If you p
refer to open your windows on cooler nights, as well, the allergens from outdoors will make your way into your HVAC system. Check on this essential component regularly. If it looks dirty, all it takes is a simple switch out with a new filter.
3. Set Thermostat
Your thermostat may feel like a constantly changing variable in your home, but for the sake of your energy bills, it’s essential to leave it alone.
Fall weather can be a tease will its ever-fluctuating temperatures but try to resist setting your system to 80 degrees every time a cool breeze blows. Maintaining a moderate temperature will keep you cozy whether it’s blisteringly hot or cold outside this fall. I recommend keeping your home at 72 degrees.
Some thermostats have programming called a “comfort schedule” that can make those minor adjustments for you to maintain a comfortable feel inside while saving you money on energy bills while you’re away. If you know that no one is home from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, for example, you can program your system to stay at a target temperature until you leave for work and turn back on just before you come home.
4. Schedule Routine Maintenance
While there are necessary steps you need to take on your own to maintain your HVAC system, have a professional frequently come to give it a thorough evaluation. Preventative maintenance will support the efficiency of your unit and avoid any significant disasters down the road by catching them early. An HVAC specialist will search for problems, tune-up any loose bolts or wires, and make minor fixes that will extend the life of your system.
My friends at Blue Ox Heating & Air suggest a check-up on your cooling system in the spring and your heating system in the fall. If you wait until it’s cold enough to freeze the fire in a lantern (trust me, that happened to our loggers one winter), you’ll feel like you’re waiting till spring to warm up because HVAC companies become so busy. By getting ahead of the crowd, you’ll keep your home warm and cozy as fall becomes a blistering Minnesota winter. If this regular maintenance doesn’t fit into your schedule, Blue Ox Heating & Air also offers duct cleaning and duct sealing, which keeps the air from leaking into your walls, as well as filter delivery.
5. Enjoy Your System All Autumn Long
Once the required maintenance on your HVAC unit is done and dusted, cozy up and enjoy the first cold nights of the season. Might I suggest whipping up a pot of Sourdough Sam’s legendary bean soup? While I wouldn’t recommend making a lake-sized portion that will feed a crew through winter, pork and navy bean soup hits the spot after a day out in the cold. Check Blue Ox’s Facebook page for the recipe.
If you’re unsure of who to call for your HVAC needs, my team at Blue Ox Heating & Air are the gold standard in Minneapolis, MN. For more information and to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (612) 217-7759.