Where did summer go? Already it’s time to pull out your sweaters and break out the apple cider. As we ease into fall in Montgomery County, don’t forget to give your HVAC system a little TLC. Routine maintenance can catch little problems before they turn into system failures and keep you energy efficient all winter long. Here’s what you need to make sure you do before you need to crank up the furnace:
- Change your air filters. This is often our number one tip for any kind of basic HVAC maintenance, and for good reason. Changing your filter as recommended—usually once a month, but some filters have longer cycles—keeps your air cleaner, helps air flow more freely around the house and makes your furnace’s job easier. Take this one small step and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
- Clean your vents. Pet hair, mold, dirt and other nasty things can build up on your vents and registers, spewing pollutants into the air and again, making your system work harder to push air through your home. Clean vents and registers with a damp paper towel.
- Check for drafts. Tiny drafts throughout your home can steal your warm air and leave you paying more for your energy. To test for drafts, walk slowly through your home with a candle, especially near the doors and windows. If the candle flickers, there’s a draft. Fill it with a small amount of caulk.
- Hose off and cover your outdoor air conditioner unit. Wash away debris and dirt from your exterior unit and consider investing in a vinyl or canvas air conditioner cover. These can protect your unit from freezing, thawing and unexpected hazards like falling limbs or icicles. It’s not necessary, but it sure is handy.
- Add pipe covers. Pipe covers are small pieces of foam that insulate your exterior pipes to keep them from freezing. You can find them in the hardware store or simply wrap a length of foam around the pipes and secure with duct tape.
- Schedule your HVAC maintenance check. There’s only so much you can do on your own before it’s time to call in a professional. A heating maintenance check involves a thorough inspection of the heat pump and or furnace heating system. It’s a great way to catch small issues—replacing worn parts or tightening connections—before they turn into more expensive and uncomfortable outages. A maintenance agreement is a great way to save money on your twice a year tune-ups—and make sure you never forget to get it scheduled!
Taking these small steps now can save you time and money down the road. At GAC Cooling & Heating (Gaithersburg Air Conditioning & Heating), we’d love to help you get your system ready for winter. We help homeowners in Montgomery and Frederick Counties, including Rockville, Germantown, Potomac, Olney and Clarksburg. Schedule your appointment today.