The kids are back at school, the cabins are closing up for the winter, football is back on TV, and before you know it we’ll start seeing fall colors everywhere we go. Autumn is just around the corner, and as we all know in Minnesota, that means old man winter will be nipping at her heels before you can throw away your jack-o-lanterns. That’s why getting your HVAC serviced before winter hits is so important to keeping you comfy and cozy.
A Clean HVAC = A Happy HVAC
There are things you can take care of yourself and items you should trust a pro to do. Our resident expert Keith Hill, manager technical support for MN Air says a visual inspection is in order in both spring and fall.
“Look for anything that’s corroded or dirty. Clean out dirt and debris from the outdoor unit, wash the outdoor coil, then head inside to clean the lint and dander from the burner compartment in the furnace -- if you feel comfortable doing so,” he says.
One of the most important items in keeping your HVAC running happily is making sure you have a clean filter. This means change or clean it regularly – depending on your filter this can be monthly, but some larger filters can go as much as 6 months. That’s why it’s important to talk to a pro to see what they suggest.
Keith says if you hire a pro, make sure you go through the maintenance items with them and review the manufacturer’s maintenance list. The maintenance list for your HVAC should be available by doing an internet search or contacting the manufacturer if you no longer have yours. Generally a technician will:
- Inspect/ clean the entire system - They will clean or replace components that are beginning to wear out. They’ll remove dirt and soot that may have built up through use so your system runs smoothly and with the greatest efficiency.
- Check the furnace venting and air intake – They will look for restrictions or blockages so air can flow properly. They should also check for restrictions outside if you can’t get to it. Some venting and air intakes are on the roof, so that’s why a professional is needed to check it.
- Check the water heater – Keith says most furnace techs are qualified to work on gas-fired water heaters.
- Check other related mechanisms – The tech should inspect ductwork or other add-on HVAC equipment like whole-house humidifiers and air purifier systems.
- Offer advice – Your technician will let you know the status of your HVAC. If they have concerns about your system or suggestions and advice for maintaining it, they should say it. Take advantage of their knowledge and ask questions about your system – you are paying for their time and they should want to help you.
Other Fall HVAC Services
Keith says fall is also a good time to have a pro perform a combustion-efficiency test, tune-up and safety test.
“That verifies you will be at peak efficiency and you and your family will be safe. The test should include carbon monoxide testing, and don’t forget about that water heater and any space heaters or other gas-fired appliances,” he says. “Any fossil fuel (gas, oil, kerosene) burning appliance can generate carbon monoxide, so it’s a good idea to check them all and the attached venting.”
He reminds homeowners to never ever use a fossil fuel burning appliance that is unvented or that releases its combustion inside your home – that means appliances that have no chimney or metal vents.
“Unvented heaters are for wide open spaces – well-ventilated garages, etc. Even if it burns clean to start with, it uses up the oxygen in the space and will eventually begin making carbon monoxide. It is a code violation to use these devices in a home and the cause of many CO poisonings.”
To make an appointment with one of our trusted technicians, go to StayComfyMN.com and our team of professionals will get your system ready before the first snowflakes fall.