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Fall HVAC Checklist: Get Your System Ready

Sep 22, 2016

Fall HVAC

The calendar says fall is here, but in typical Texas fashion, summer doesn’t want to leave. While we may be stuck sweating it out for a while longer, now is the best time for a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system inspection and tune-up.

Preventative maintenance and seasonal tune-ups can really benefit the longevity and efficiency of your HVAC system. Even if you haven’t had trouble with your HVAC system, routine maintenance can reduce energy costs, extend equipment life, and prevent costly repairs.

For residential properties, experts recommend doing system maintenance & inspections at least twice a year – in the fall and spring to prepare equipment for the upcoming heating or cooling season.

Commercial properties, on the other hand, need to factor in the size of the property, the needs of the facility, and the age/type of system/equipment to determine HVAC maintenance schedules.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist:

Clean Your System
– Check for any damage or dirt buildup- Dirty equipment, as well as clogged filters, affects efficiency.
– Clean 2 feet of space around any outdoor units.
– Keep AC & Heating Units free of leaves, grass & other debris.

Inspect Your System’s Equipment
– Check refrigerant lines – inspect these monthly when possible.
– Replace system filters  – it’s recommenced to replace filters every 90 days.
– Check the building envelope for any air leaks where heat might escape.
– Check that system parts are tight, sealed, and there are no water or gas leaks.
– Inspect or install piping insulation to prevent freezing.
– Ensure any outdoor Units are on firm, level ground.
– Clean AC Condensate drain with a bleach/water mixture.

Review & Adjust System Settings
– Consider installing a programmable thermostat to control when heat comes on.
– If a programmable thermostat isn’t in the cards for you, look into setting a schedule for turning the thermostat down when you leave. For every 1 degree your thermostat is adjusted, you can save 1% on energy bills.
– If you own a commercial property, check with residents to make sure their heating and cooling needs are being met. See if their needs have changed recently, and if adjustments to your HVAC system can accommodate their needs.

Test It Out
– Once equipment is inspected, cleaned and settings are adjusted – test the system to make sure it’s working properly.
– Ensure the system starts and operates as expected.
– Make sure it powers down when it’s supposed to – including the air handler and exhaust fans as well.

Hire a Professional
It’s a good idea to hire an HVAC company to inspect and do maintenance on your system every fall and spring. They’ll do things like inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of the unit, which is bit more challenging for the average homeowner.

Performing service only when a problem occurs isn’t recommended because it does not keep commercial systems running efficiently through heating season. The cost and downtime associated with emergency repairs and service calls often cost way more than a bi-annual maintenance plan.

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