Your eight-part HVAC maintenance checklist for autumn
1. Check the thermostat
With every change of season, it’s important to adjust your thermostat appropriately to stop your energy bills from spiking.
It might seem counterintuitive that you could save money during the autumn and winter months when the heating is required. However, the thermostat temperature doesn’t have to be set to an extreme level for warmth and comfort. We suggest setting your thermostat to around 21 degrees Celsius for optimal warmth without driving up your electric bill.
Additionally, adjust the thermostat to turn the heat down in the middle of the night while you’re asleep. Taking the time to make these minor adjustments can save your finances in the long run.
Secondly, ensure your thermostat is in working condition before winter begins. To get started, try cleaning the inside of the thermostat to remove any dirt and dust. You can use a soft brush and alcohol wipes to gently brush the interior components.
Finally, check if the thermostat box is level, as a misaligned thermostat can alter the accuracy of internal components.
If you have doubts about how well your system has been maintained, then contact your local HVAC contractor. They will provide advice on what needs doing now so that everything runs smoothly when you turn it back on next year.
2. Check the filters
Changing the air filters is a key component to maintaining your HVAC system. You might be wondering how often you should replace or clean them, and the answer is that it depends on a variety of factors.
Before cleaning, determine if your type of air filter model is permanent/semipermanent or a disposable model. Permanent/semipermanent models can be cleaned, vacuumed, or washed, while disposable models require replacing. Other factors include building size, pets, indoor air quality, and air pollution levels.
Generally, you should check the filters every one or two months and even more frequently if you have a pet or are prone to allergies. Cleaning your HVAC air filters ensures your system operates efficiently and provides good indoor air quality.
Find out more about air filter maintenance here.
3. Clean the ducts
Regular duct maintenance is an essential part of maintaining your HVAC system. Not only does it help the functionality of the system, but it also prevents any allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems from flaring up.
However, this necessary task is not an easy one, so it’s recommended that you contact a professional. We have all the proper tools to clean the ducts to help maintain a healthy environment through cleaner air. This isn’t just crucial for autumn and winter but should be consistent all year round.
4. Clean up debris around outdoor units
During the colder months, it’s imperative to monitor your outdoor unit. Natural seasonal effects require us to remove any leaves, dirt, sticks, and other debris that may have accumulated on or around your outdoor unit.
Cleaning up allows maximum airflow, increases the system’s performance, and prolongs its lifespan. Beyond a general tidy-up, we also recommend protecting your outdoor condenser with an air conditioner cover or caged shield to prevent debris from falling and damaging your unit.
5. Tune up your heating system before winter
Before the winter months set in, always tune up your heating system. Tune-ups can include changing heating unit filters and checking motor brushes for wear. Doing so will help keep heating systems running efficiently during cold weather.
Lastly, check fuses and circuit breakers are all working correctly before the colder months hit. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.
6. Check the coils for leaks
Leaky coils affect system performance, energy usage, and occupant comfort. So, the next stage of your autumn HVAC maintenance checklist involves checking the coils for holes and leaks. Be sure to seal the holes to prevent air leakage.
Here are some other tips to keep your heating system in pristine condition:
- Check for odours when your system starts.
- Listen for any abnormal noises when your system starts.
- Inspect the blades to determine wear and tear.
- Check the base for blocked drain openings.
7. Rotate ceiling fans (if applicable)
Ceiling fans are often added to a home or commercial building and then forgotten about unless it needs repairing. An interesting fact about ceiling fans that often goes unnoticed is that specific fan rotation pushes air in a certain direction.
In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise, pushing cool air down to the floor. To prepare for the fall and winter months, rotate your fan to spin clockwise and pull cool air up toward the ceiling.
Knowing that heat rises, this push of cold air will cause the warmer air to travel down the room, keeping you warm when you need it most. Many people find that they can turn their thermostat down by using this ceiling fan hack. This is a quick task on the checklist, all you do is toggle the switch on the motor, and you’ll be good to go.
8. Change to a green energy source
With energy prices soaring in 2022 and 2023, there has never been a better time to change your traditional heating system for an eco-friendly one.
Air source heat pumps are an electric eco-heating system that absorbs solar heat before utilising a small amount of electricity to compress this heat into a suitably high temperature. Now, the energy is ready for space heating, such as radiators or underfloor heating.
Find out more about how a heat pump works with our comprehensive pros and cons list.
Providing it’s designed and installed correctly, an air source heat pump can be an effective eco-heating system that’s both cheap to run and friendly for the environment.