Furnace Fiascos Avoided

How To Prepare Your HVAC System For The Cooler Months Ahead

Summer is still in full swing, but it's only a matter of time before cooler temperatures prevail. Until then, it's a good idea to make sure your HVAC system is ready to tackle the coming fall and winter weather. Here are a few good tips you can use to insure your HVAC system delivers optimal performance during the cooler months ahead.

Make Furnace Inspection a Priority

As winter closes in, you'll want to make sure your HVAC system's furnace is ready to tackle the cooler weather ahead. Here's what you need to look at when it comes to checking your furnace:

  1. Carefully check each and every gas line and fitting for leaks and corrosion.
  2. Inspect the burners for signs of soot accumulation, rust and corrosion. If necessary, you should remove and carefully clean the burners before restarting the furnace.
  3. If your furnace uses a pilot, carefully inspect and clean both the pilot and pilot assembly.
  4. If your furnace uses electronic ignition, carefully check the igniter for signs of damage and wear.
  5. If possible, check the heat exchanger for signs of cracks, rust and other forms of deterioration. In many cases, your HVAC technician will have the tools to perform an even more thorough inspection of this component.
  6. Take a close look at the flue pipe. Check for leaks as well as signs of corrosion. A corroded flue pipe can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas to leak back into your home.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

Another step in preparing your HVAC system for cooler weather involves cleaning the evaporator coil. Cleaning the evaporator coil not only removes the dust and debris that has accumulated over the past few months, but it also safeguards the coil against mold and mildew growth during the fall and winter months.

The best way to clean the evaporator coil without causing any damage is to use a foaming no-rinse spray. Simply apply the foaming cleaner according to the instructions on the spray can. The foam will break down into a self-rinsing liquid, taking the dirt and debris with it as it drains off the coil. It's also a good idea to give the condensate drip tray and drain a thorough cleaning, as well.

Don't Forget to Change Your Air Filter

This critical step should go without saying, but it's amazing how so many homeowners forget to perform this relatively simple yet important task. Leaving a dirty air filter in place makes it harder for return air to flow into the HVAC unit, adding stress and strain to the blower fan and other HVAC components. Not only does this kill performance and energy efficiency, but the dust and debris that escapes the clogged air filter can also negatively impact your home's indoor air quality.

Replacing the air filter on a regular basis can prevent these things from happening. Most experts recommend changing the air filter at least every 3 months. Others recommend even more frequent intervals for those concerned with improving their home's indoor air quality.

Clean and Cover the Outdoor Cabinet

As you wind down your air conditioning usage, you may want to consider cleaning up the area around your HVAC system's outdoor cabinet. Make sure to pick up and discard any stray debris and vegetation near the bottom of the unit.

When you finally stop using the air conditioning portion of your HVAC system, consider covering the outdoor cabinet with a well-ventilated winter cover. Not only will this prevent debris and snowfall from accumulating in the cabinet, but it'll also prevent rodents and other small animals from taking up residence within the unit.

The only time you shouldn't cover up the outdoor cabinet is if you rely on a heat pump to keep your home warm throughout the fall and winter months. Since the condenser coil within the cabinet has to draw latent heat from the outdoor air in heating mode, covering the outdoor cabinet will prevent the heat pump from operating effectively.

For more info, contact a company like Weather Control Air Conditioning, Inc.