Furnace Maintenance & Other Fall Prep Tips for Kansas City Weather
As cooler weather starts to creep in and we begin to see clues that autumn is here and cold weather is around the corner. By taking some time to prepare your home for cold winter weather, you can make the cold months a little more comfortable. It is a good idea to begin winterizing your home before the weather drops to freezing temperatures.
Home Exterior Tips for Fall Prep:
There are a number of things to do on the exterior of your home to prepare for fall.
Inspect Your Roof and Gutters
If your roof and gutters are in good shape they will be able to properly handle any winter moisture and icy accumulation that may occur. Check your roof for loose shingles and ensure they are nailed down properly. While on the roof you can inspect your gutters to make sure they are free from debris so that water can properly flow through them in order to prevent ice dams from forming.
Turn Off Exterior Faucets
Disconnect and drain any hoses. Turn off all exterior faucets and make sure any remaining water is emptied from the lines to prevent pipes from bursting in the cold winter months.
Home Interior Tips for Fall Prep:
There are also some steps to take on the interior of your home to prepare for the coming cold weather.
Reverse Ceiling Fan Direction
We all know that warm air rises. By switching the direction on your ceiling fan you can push that heated air back down to the bottom of the room where you will benefit from it’s warmth. Most fans are equipped with a switch that allows you to choose the direction of the fan. A clockwise direction should move that warm air from the ceiling down to help heat the room efficiently.
Seal Any Window Gaps
To prevent warm air from escaping and cool air from entering make sure any large gaps around your windows have been filled with caulk. This is also a great time to check the weather-stripping around doors and windows and replace any that is worn out and not sealing properly.
Clean Your Chimney
Before you start a fire in your fireplace you need to check out your chimney. You can shine a flashlight up your chimney to check for blockages or cracks, but it may be a good idea to have it checked out by a professional. An improperly ventilated fireplace can be very dangerous.
Furnace Maintenance to Prepare Your Home for Cool Weather
There are some specific steps you want to take in regards to your HVAC system to make sure it is ready to transition from air conditioning to heating and able to keep your home warm and comfortable in the cooler weather. Here are some specific items for furnace maintenance.
Change The Air Filter
Changing the filter not only helps the unit to run more efficiently, but it also can help alleviate or relieve fall allergies experienced by so many. A clean filter can more effectively rid the air of allergens and pathogens that can lead to allergy symptoms.
Check Your Thermostat Settings
As the temperature changes you may need to change the thermostat in your home to maintain a comfortable temperature. This is especially true if you have a programmable thermostat.
Turn On The Heater
Before the weather calls for the need for central heat it is a good idea to turn on your heater to make sure it is working properly. It is better to find out you need a repair while the temperature is still comfortable and not when heat is necessary due to freezing temperatures!
Clean The Condenser Unit
By the end of summer you may see that debris, leaves, grass clippings, dirt, etc. have accumulated on the exterior condenser unit. This decreases efficiency and causes the unit to work harder. Clear away everything from around the unit and use your hose to spray off the unit to clear away dirt (but make sure to turn off and disconnect the exterior faucet when you’re finished!).
Shut Off The Power To The Condenser
Shutting off the power to the condenser is a great idea, if the thermostat setting is accidently moved to “cool” during any cold weather you can avoid the damage that could occur. Just don’t forget to turn it back on in the spring 24 hours before you are ready to use the air conditioner unit!
Foam pipe covers added around the air conditioner unit’s exposed wiring and pipes can help prevent pipes from freezing and cracking. Duct tape can be added to keep the foam insulation in place.
Schedule Your Seasonal HVAC Inspection
In order to avoid unexpected repairs or an expensive emergency you should have your HVAC system inspected at least twice a year. A scheduled inspection can identify when there is a need for an ac tune up or furnace maintenance. This inspection should include the following:
- Clean air ducts and vents
- Ensure there is the correct amount of refrigerant
- Test ducts for leaks and seal any found
- Measure the airflow of the evaporator coil
- Verify correct electrical control sequence
- Inspect electrical terminals and clean and tighten any connections
- Oil motors and check belts for proper tightness or signs of wear
- Check your thermostat’s accuracy
A&D Heating & Cooling Inc. offers AC maintenance service plans that include routine maintenance that will cover seasonal inspections. Proper heat pump maintenance can not only catch needed repairs before they become emergencies, but can also help ensure that your furnace is running efficiently, which can also lower your overall heating bill. Call us today for more information if you have questions on how to make sure your home is ready for the upcoming cooler weather or if you would like specific information on how maintenance plans.