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5 Ways to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Fall

November 29, 2015

After a hot, humid summer in Columbus, cool autumn temperatures are here. Follow these five tips to keep your home comfortable as you transition your HVAC system into fall and winter.

Change the Air Filter

HVAC systems rely on air filters to capture harmful particles and pollutants circulating through the air. In most cases, air filters protect the HVAC system by keeping it free and clear from dirt and bacteria. They also keep you and your family safe by capturing mold, dust, pollen, and other airborne irritants.

Air filters don’t last forever, and they generally need to be replaced every 30 to 90 days. Since summer usually requires constant air conditioner usage, fall is a convenient time to change out a dust-covered air filter with a fresh one. Through the fall season, replace the air filter every 60 to 90 days, or change it every 30 days if your HVAC system sees extensive use. Keeping the air filter fresh ensures that the system works smoothly and keeps you comfortable without any hiccups.

Update the Thermostat Settings

With cooler fall temperatures, it’s time to change up your thermostat routine. If you haven’t already installed a programmable or smart thermostat, consider making the change now. Changing seasons and unpredictable weather patterns are much easier to manage when you can rely on a smart thermostat at home. If possible, opt for a model that manages both heating and cooling so you don’t have to switch over to the appropriate system manually.

With your thermostat in place, program the temperature settings to align with your family’s fall schedule. As a general rule, turn down heating or cooling several degrees when no one’s home during the day, and set the system to return your home to a comfortable temperature about 30 minutes before you plan to get home at the end of the day.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

HVAC systems benefit from professional maintenance twice each year, and fall is the right time to schedule preventative maintenance. A professional HVAC technician from Indoor Solutions will check the system’s parts to ensure everything is operating properly, change the refrigerant if necessary, and even replace the air filter. In addition to providing you with peace of mind, regular maintenance ensures that any issues affecting the HVAC system’s performance are identified and fixed in a timely manner.

Monitor Humidity Levels

You might consider humidity to be a summer problem, but excess moisture in the air tends to be a year-round issue in the Columbus area. Avoiding outdoor humidity is an exercise in frustration, but keeping indoor humidity at a healthy and comfortable level is important.

Most HVAC experts recommend keeping your home’s humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. If it’s consistently higher or lower, you’re bound to run into issues with indoor air quality. Overly dry air causes dry skin and hair. On the other hand, excessive humidity can lead to mold growth, dust mite infestations, and general feelings of discomfort.

An easy way to keep humidity in check is to use ceiling fans and appropriate ventilation, which distribute warm or cool air through each room while keeping humidity within the recommended range. For bigger humidity challenges, install a whole-home dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air without overworking your HVAC system.

Check Outdoor Landscaping

Fall is the ideal time to take a closer look at your outdoor landscaping, especially after a long summer of growth. Remember that half of your home’s air conditioning unit resides outdoors, and it’s important to keep the outdoor unit clear and free from debris.

Trim back any tall grass, shrubs, or trees that have grown too close to the exterior unit. Leave at least two feet clear around the unit to ensure that it’s not obstructed by any landscaping. If you mow around the area, take care not to discharge grass clippings onto the unit itself. Once you’ve cleared away any landscaping, remove fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris from the outdoor unit, allowing it to operate without constraints or blockages through the late fall season.

Is your HVAC system ready for fall? Call Indoor Solutions today to schedule preventative maintenance for your Columbus-area system: 706-225-8241.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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