With autumn just beginning, it’s time to prepare your home for the change of seasons. Your air conditioning and heating both need attention at this time of year, with some steps easy to handle on your own and others best done with the help of a Sacramento HVAC tune-up from Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning. The list below will seem long, but many of the steps can be taken care of quickly, giving you plenty of time for any needed HVAC repairs and ensuring you’re ready for the colder months ahead.
Prepare Your Home
Let’s start with what you can do. Start by checking your home for drafts, paying close attention to windows and doors. If you have rooms you’ve noticed aren’t as well insulated, this is a good time to take care of that as well. Winter is also prime time for taking advantage of incoming sunlight; it keeps your home from feeling dreary, and lightens the load on your heating system as well.
General HVAC Preparation
EnergyStar reminds us that poor maintenance means poor performance, poor indoor air quality, and higher energy bills. So next, let’s move on to steps that apply to heating and air conditioning systems alike.
- Check your thermostat settings to make sure they’re appropriate for the weather, and to be sure it’s working properly. Consider a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already.
- Remove debris and clutter from around your furnace and AC alike, ensuring proper clearance for safe operation.
- Change your filters.
- Check key components — housings, wiring, control boxes, and the like — for signs of dirt and wear. Clean where needed, and make a note of anything you see that a plumber should take a closer look at.
- Clean your ductwork and registers.
- Change batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors — and remember that even hard-wired systems have battery backups.
How to Winterize Your Air Conditioner
Next up, let’s put your air conditioner down for its winter nap. Take care of the essentials now and you can be sure that when spring arrives, your air conditioner will be ready to give you its best. At a bare minimum, we suggest the following:
- Cover the outdoor unit to protect it against the elements.
- Lubricate moving parts.
- Ensure that the unit is completely drained.
- Check coolant levels and recharge if needed.
- Inspect the compressor and coils.
Some of these things are best handled by professionals, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call Ace Plumbing. While we’re here, we can also take care of another essential step…
Preparing Your Furnace
Besides the filter replacement we mentioned earlier, it helps to clean around ducts and vents. If you’ve got hot water baseboard, clean and vacuum the baseboard before the system is in use; this will help with air quality. Further steps include:
- Cleaning your heat exchange
- Cleaning your chimney
- Checking your system for worn or damaged components
- Ensuring that no flammable materials are left near your furnace and water heater
- Testing the system to ensure proper operation
The earlier you take care of these steps, the better. Your system will be more effective, and more efficient, after a tune-up. And if there are problems, these can be identified and addressed early — before the cold weather, and before our phone starts ringing off the hook because of customers who waited too long to act.
Something else to keep in mind: odd noises and smells from your system should never be neglected. Things won’t work themselves out, and a neglected furnace can lead to a lethal carbon monoxide leak. So don’t wait. Stay safe, healthy, and happy with an assist from Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning!