Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

The summer is coming to an end, and that means you can finally give your air conditioner a rest and start enjoying the milder temperatures. However, the arrival of autumn doesn’t just mean the leaves will be changing colors. Now that fall is here, it’s also time to start making sure that your home is prepared for the upcoming winter. If your HVAC system isn’t ready for the harsh weather, it could result in quite a bit of discomfort, hassle, and wasted money. However, as long as you take certain maintenance measures this fall, there’s no reason your home can’t function smoothly and remain comfortable throughout the winter.

A technician holding wires with a voltage tester in hand.
Maintenance Tips
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    Get Your Ducts Inspected & Cleaned

    When the chilly winter weather hits Michigan, the condition of your ductwork will have a major impact on the overall performance of your heating system. For your heater to run efficiently and keep your home comfortable, it needs clear pathways for circulating warm air. If you haven’t had your air ducts inspected or cleaned in a while, though, they’re most likely filled with contaminants, and they could be harboring leaks as well. Over time, it’s natural for things like dust, dirt, mold, and small debris to accumulate inside your ductwork. If enough of those particles build up, it can begin to restrict the airflow of your HVAC system. That means that when winter arrives, your furnace will need to increase its air pressure just to push through the contaminants and do its job. That leads to more energy being used and an increased risk of mechanical problems.

    If your home’s ducts are leaky, that could cause major issues for your HVAC system this winter as well. Whenever you have the heat turned on, air will be escaping through the leaks as it flows through the ductwork. That can result in uneven household temperatures, and it also forces your heating system to work harder to compensate for the lost air. Your monthly bills will rise significantly, and you could end up with a malfunctioning or broken-down furnace. So, to avoid these problems, you should make a point to hire ductwork professionals this fall. They can clean the contaminants out of your ducts and thoroughly inspect them for any leaks or other damage. If they find any issues, they’ll be able to repair them before winter arrives and you start encountering major negative effects.

    An air filter unit pulled from heating unit

    Change Your Air Filters

    Your HVAC air filters are very important for keeping your system running efficiently and keeping your indoor air clean and healthy. Whenever your heating or cooling unit is circulating air, the filters are trapping airborne contaminants, preventing them from cycling into the appliance and around your home. And since you’ve probably been running your air conditioner frequently over the last few months, there’s a good chance your HVAC air filters are pretty dirty. If you let dirty air filters linger, then your furnace’s airflow may be restricted this winter, which can have negative effects on its effectiveness, efficiency, and overall health.

    Ideally, you should make a point to replace your HVAC air filters every month or two, depending on the type of filters you use and how frequently you run your HVAC system. To ensure that you get good results from your heating system this winter, you’d be wise to switch them out now for new filters, then monitor them consistently throughout the season.

    Schedule Heating System Maintenance

    As the weather gets colder over the next few months in Downriver, you’ll most likely be relying on your heater more and more frequently. There’s nothing wrong with running your heating system regularly, but if you don’t prepare it for that extra usage, it can potentially become too much for the appliance to handle. And an overworked furnace may start struggling to do its job, losing its efficiency, or even experiencing major mechanical problems. Fortunately, by scheduling a professional heating tune-up this fall, you can ensure that your furnace is up to the task of keeping your home comfortable all winter long.

    When you schedule heating maintenance, your hired technician will take several steps to get your furnace running like new again. For one, they’ll clean the contaminants from the appliance, allowing it to circulate warm air smoothly and efficiently. They’ll also make adjustments to improve the system’s performance and thoroughly inspect its components for any issues. This will involve searching for current problems as well as warning signs for potential future problems. If they come across any mechanical issues, they’ll take preventative measures to ensure that you don’t end up with a broken-down furnace in the middle of winter.

    Ultimately, by getting your heating system tuned up during fall, you’ll ensure that it’s able to keep you comfortable, conserve energy, and avoid costly repairs throughout the coldest months of the year. Plus, the service is quick, easy, and affordable.

    Clean Your Air Vents

    While you have a break between the harsh weather of summer and winter, it’s the perfect time to make sure your household air vents are in good shape. For your heater to be able to effectively distribute warm air to every area of your home, it will be important that all of your vents are clean and unobstructed. Otherwise, you could end up with hot and cold spots around your living space, and your furnace may need to strain itself and waste energy to push enough air through the vents.

    Fortunately, keeping your home’s air vents clean is a pretty simple task. First, you’ll want to make sure that none of the vents are blocked by furniture or clutter. Then, you can use a screwdriver to remove the protective cover from each vent. Once you’ve removed the covers, it should be no problem to clean the interiors using a vacuum cleaner with a hose extension. Ideally, you should repeat this task once per month throughout the winter. In addition to improving your HVAC performance and efficiency, it will help keep your indoor air free of pollutants.

    A window with sealant and caulking tube

    Find & Seal Any Air Leaks

    When the winter weather is in full force, having air leaks around your home can be pretty problematic. For one, it will make it much harder to keep your home warm, as lots of the heat your furnace produces will inevitably escape through the openings. Plus, your heating system will need to work harder to compensate for the lost air, which will worsen its energy efficiency and put unnecessary strain on the equipment. As a result, you’ll end up spending more money on monthly heating bills and potentially even heater repairs. For these reasons, it’s a great idea to search for any air leaks around your household during autumn.

    Typically, any air leaks in your home will be around the edges of doorways and windows. You can try to search for these gaps visually, but they may be too small to see. However, even tiny leaks can cause problems for your HVAC system. So, you should also search for these openings by slowly moving your hand around your home’s windows and doors. If you feel any air flowing where it shouldn’t be, then you’ve probably found a leak. It’s important that you get any air leaks that you find thoroughly sealed before the cold weather shows up. One option is to hire local professionals to take care of the task. Otherwise, you can seal the leaks yourself using caulk and weather stripping from any hardware store.

    A man in a green shirt holding hose, spraying insulation material in an attic space

    Have Your Attic Insulated

    If you don’t currently have quality insulation in your attic, then Fall is an excellent time to have some installed. Since warm air always rises, the heat that your furnace produces during winter will typically make its way to the top of your home. And if your attic isn’t insulated, there’s very little preventing that warmth from reaching the upper section of the house. From there, it will either linger in the attic or even escape through the roofing. Either way, that warm air isn’t doing much to keep you and your family comfortable while it’s up at the top of the house. And since you’ll probably still be chilly, you may end up running the heat for longer than you’d otherwise need to, using more energy and putting extra strain on your heating system.

    When your attic is properly insulated, you don’t need to worry about these issues. The insulation stops the warm air from reaching the attic, forcing it to stay in the lower parts of your living space where it can keep you nice and warm. There are several types of insulation available, but one of the most effective options is spray foam insulation. It’s a bit expensive and requires professional installation, but it will be extremely effective and help keep your HVAC system efficient and effective.

    Your Trusted HVAC Experts in Downriver, MI

    As long as you take care of these maintenance measures during fall, there’s no reason that your home can’t remain comfortable, efficient, and fully functional throughout the winter. No matter how chilly it gets outside, your HVAC system should be able to pass its test with flying colors. If you need any HVAC services in the greater Southgate area, you can always depend on our friendly team at Flo-Aire. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (734) 285-1809!

    Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

    Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

    Locally owned and operated in Southgate, MI since 1955, Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical is one of the top heating & cooling companies in Southeast Michigan. Flo-Aire provides residential, commercial and industrial HVAC services throughout all of Metro Detroit.

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