Fall has returned here in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle, which means we shift from keeping our spaces cool to ensuring they are warm enough. The earlier in fall you schedule inspection and maintenance for your HVAC, the better prepared you will be when temperatures start dipping in October and November.
The good news is that proper HVAC maintenance typically doesn’t require much time and investment. You can do a few basic things on your own, and then you can have an HVAC maintenance professional apply the right finishing touches.
We’ll run through those items by looking at them as HVAC maintenance “you” and HVAC maintenance “pro.”
HVAC Maintenance You: Air Filter
This is probably the simplest and most important part of making sure your HVAC can perform at a high level this fall. A clogged, dirty filter places increasing strain on the heating system, which in turn makes it work harder to heat your home.
Establish your own reminder for checking the filter (ideally once a month). For example, you might write a memo on a sticky note or a wall calendar or enter a prompt in your phone’s calendar. If the filter has excess dust or dirt, replace it promptly. Beyond helping your system to heat better, a clean air filter can contribute to lowering energy bills.
You might also consider the type of air filter you will want to use for heating your home this fall. For example, will you use a fiberglass filter, a polyester and pleated filter, or a high-efficiency air filter? Each type provides different levels of benefits and performance for different costs.
For example, a high-efficiency air filter will have a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating, which indicates how well the filter removes particles and pollutants. A high-efficiency filter will have a higher MERV rating than a fiberglass filter, meaning it will trap more contaminants and tiny particles. It also will cost more. This can be a good topic of discussion between you and your HVAC maintenance professional.
HVAC Maintenance You: Vents & Registers
Do a thorough sweep of your house to check all vents and registers through which heated air passes. Dust and clean them as needed to ensure they have no build-up that would interfere with proper airflow into your house.
HVAC Maintenance You: A Good Ear & Nose
Be alert to any unusual noises or sounds that might come from your heating system, such as banging, screeching or clanging. These can often indicate a developing or current problem with the system. If you spot such signs soon enough, a solution can often be simpler and more affordable than if the issue lingers further into the season.
For example, some noises might be caused by loose motor mounts or bearings. Other sounds might be the result of damaged fan blades, poor belt tension or a refrigerant leak.
Bad or funny odors are another tip-off that something requires attention. A little bit of awareness can go a long way for your HVAC maintenance this fall.
HVAC Maintenance Pro: Trained Inspection
Your do-it-yourself steps provide a good start to having your HVAC maintenance professional inspect and tune up the rest of your heating system. Just a few of the many steps your HVAC professional will take include:
- lubricate system parts and tighten connections
- check gas connections for leaks
- ensure the thermostat is correctly calibrated with the furnace
- inspect for any signs of excess moisture or a condensation leak
- examine the heat exchanger for signs of corrosion and cracks or separations
- check the burner for proper ignition and test the flame sensor for accurate operation
- check the flue for obstructions that can trap toxic fumes
By scheduling your fall HVAC inspection and maintenance, you can benefit from:
- lower operating costs as a result of greater system efficiency
- increased system capacity by restoring equipment to factory-fresh specifications
- safer system operation
- fewer potential problems and repairs during the colder seasons
In many cases, consistent HVAC maintenance keeps furnace-manufacturer warranties in effect as well. Double-check your warranty to find out if professional HVAC maintenance is required for maintaining coverage, and if so, when it needs to be done.
Here for Answers and Service
Beery Heating and Cooling serves Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield Oswego and Lisle with HVAC maintenance that brings out the best of your heating system’s performance for you. We’re always ready to answer your questions and schedule your maintenance visit. Let’s do it all to keep you warm this fall – contact us at (630) 585-6444!
We also provide HVAC maintenance throughout the area, including Batavia, Sugar Grove, Yorkville, Plano, Montgomery and North Aurora.