You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but late fall cleaning might be even more important. Why? Because you need to clean your HVAC equipment before winter hits…or schedule a pro to do it for you!
If you’re pretty handy, you may be wondering what you can do yourself when it comes to these very important pre-winter chores! Today we’re going to tell you how to do some basic DIY maintenance so you don’t get hit with an emergency in winter.
However, we still recommend that you get a heating tune-up before winter truly bares its teeth here in Michigan. Thermostat problems, furnace ignition problems, burner, and belt problems are all things that our technicians will tackle for you!
But let’s get back to what you can do yourself:
– Invest in a smart thermostat.
These are worth the investment because they save you money on your utility bills and stop your system from doing so much work. The energy.gov website says that you should set the temperature to 68 degrees when you’re home. Then, lower the temperature up to 10 degrees at night when you’re under your blankets.
Of course, not everyone will want to do something like this, but for 10% off your heating bill, maybe the cold-blooded folks will at least try?
– Test your furnace on before you really need to use it.
Chances are, since it’s already November and the temperatures have gotten down to below freezing, you’ve already turned your furnace on. But even so, think of this as a tip for next year. Every early fall, you should be turning your furnace on at least three to five times, even before temperatures merit it.
Now, how high should you be turning on your heat when you test your furnace? Up to 68 degrees, as stated above!
– Change your air filter.
We know, we know: You’re saying, “Of course I change my air filter!” But just in case that’s a little white lie, causing a very gray, dangerously dirty furnace filter, think of this as our friendly reminder.
After all, one of the most common causes of HVAC malfunction is a dirty filter. You should be checking it every month, or at the very least, every three months. And keep in mind, you can buy more than one backup filter at a time!
Similarly, late fall is the best time to hurry up and check out your air vents. Are there lots of bugs and debris that would restrict airflow?
– Hurry and install insulation before winter truly hits!
Heat flows from your home into your attic, so attic insulation is a “guard” preventing heat from escaping your home.
And of course, insulation is just as helpful in the summer months, keeping cool air where you want it!
– Winterize, winterize, winterize.
Sure, it’s a little late to start if you haven’t already, but there are also aspects of winterizing that people usually don’t think about.
You usually think about winterizing an empty house. Turning off the water. Opening the faucets and drain valve. Putting plumbing antifreeze down your plumbing traps.
However, “winterizing” can also have a different meaning:
For example, closing your fireplace and shutting the flue, or making sure you have storm windows, or insulating your home with heavy rugs and curtains. Of course, the
insulation mentioned above is a great way to winterize your house, too!
The best way to prepare your house for winter, though, is a last-minute furnace tune-up if you haven’t gotten one already!
Our HVAC technicians will really appreciate any DIY HVAC work you’ve done yourself, like cleaning out your air vents to make sure your system is running efficiently, but there are many furnace problems you won’t be able to spot or fix yourself.