We’ve all made our way through another summer here in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle (IL). Here at Beery Heating and Cooling, we hope you enjoyed the comfort of air conditioning at home as much as you did your time outside in the warmth and the sun.
Even with a little bit of summer left, it’s not too early to start thinking about how your HVAC will continue your comfort when the temperatures drop instead of rise.
Fall is perfect for furnace maintenance for a few reasons. First, the temperatures become milder, so neither your heating nor your cooling will typically be in frequent use. Your Beery technician can get a good look at your system when your windows are open and the pleasant fall air is drifting in.
Second, if a furnace inspection reveals that something needs attention, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of it before you depend on your HVAC system again. A system that’s tuned up and ready to go is always more desirable than one with any undiagnosed needs that can spring up as problems when you need the furnace the most.
Third, late fall and winter turn into peak seasons for HVAC in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle. Demand for service can outpace immediate availability as schedules fill faster. In some cases, prices can also get bumped up because of supply and demand.
By scheduling your furnace maintenance in fall, you ensure top system performance well ahead of time when the weather is favorable, service is convenient for you and the cost is typically modest.
In the spirit of being prepared with less to worry about, let’s run through a quick checklist of things that you also can do to help maintain your furnace before you bring in the professionals. Ideally, you won’t have to see us again until the next year for the next inspection!
How Do I Help Maintain My Furnace in Fall?
The following are measures you can take to support your goal to stay comfortable and warm in late fall and winter. You can print this out and mark each item as you complete it.
□ Clear the areas around the indoor and outdoor units. Remove anything that might be close to the furnace that could overheat once the system is operating at full blast.
Debris can gather around the outdoor HVAC unit in summer and continue through winter as well. When spring and summer return, this can compromise the cooling system’s airflow to the fan when it’s time to switch back to the AC. Clear away anything that has built on or around the outdoor unit – at least two feet of clearance is best.
□ Ensure the thermostat works. The thermostat will be busy in winter as you adjust indoor temperatures to your comfort. Make sure it is still operating with the furnace correctly in fall before it gets cold out.
□ Test the igniter switch. Some older furnaces might require only that the pilot light be relit, but most newer models are ignited with an electronic switch. Try the switch to see if it activates. If it doesn’t at first, hit the reset the button. If the switch still doesn’t fire up the system, let us know here at Beery very soon.
□ Check the filter regularly. You’d be surprised by how often dirty filters cause service and repair visits during winter. The filter can be especially clogged after being in use throughout the summer. A dirty filter strains the system and makes it less efficient.
You could consider setting a monthly filter-check reminder on your phone. You can also mark the date of filter installation on both the filter and a calendar. Flip forward on the same calendar and make a “replace filter” note for a date between 45 and 90 days from the date of installation.
Today’s choices of filters include high-efficiency pleated air filters with an electrostatic charge. These are made to be even more effective at capturing particles such as dust, mold and dander.
□ Clean vents and registers. Over time it’s easy for dust, debris and other items to gather in, on and around vents and registers. This can create more dust in rooms as well as obstruct proper airflow. Make sure vents and registers are clean and cleared.
If your home has a humidifier, change the water panel in fall. This will help the unit better respond to dry air and maintain proper home humidity during winter.
Check the remaining power in the batteries for your carbon monoxide detector as well. If needed, replace them. This is always important for home safety.
When Should I Call a Professional for Fall Furnace Maintenance?
Now that you know how you can help prepare your furnace for the upcoming cold, your next step is to schedule a professional inspection with a Beery technician, ideally before mid-October. Your Beery professional will perform specialized tasks such as:
- clean the heat exchanger and check for CO2 leaks
- ensure all bolts and electrical connections are tight
- lubricate all moving parts
- check gas connections
- test controls for start-up, operation and shut-down
- clean the furnace cabinet and components
- conduct a combustion-efficiency test
- ensure proper duct insulation
- test the limit (safety) switch
- check motor and blower belts and pulleys
When you and Beery Heating and Cooling communicate and plan together, you really can achieve what you need and expect from your furnace when you need it the most.
Here for Answers and Service
We are community professionals who enjoy helping our neighbors get the most comfort, safety and return on investment from their HVAC throughout the year. If you have further questions about fall furnace maintenance or would like to schedule your system inspection in Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville or Lisle (IL), just give us a call at (630) 585-6444!