Throughout the year, we put our HVAC system through a lot. Homeowners and business owners alike expect their AC to run perfectly in the summer and their heating system throughout the winter months. So, as the days get colder and summer slips into fall, it’s easy to forget the strain we can put on our HVAC systems during the seasonal shift. Getting your home fall indoor air quality ready starts today.
This is especially true for those that live in areas where it can take a while for the weather to really commit to a season. If you want your HVAC system to stay in top condition throughout the fall season, we have a couple of easy tips for you. Though the importance of indoor air quality is year-round, preparation for an easier winter and the cold season begins in the fall.
Routinely Check and Change Air Filters
Changing the air filters in your home is perhaps one of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks. Thankfully, it’s also one of the easiest. Having clean air filters is essential for healthy indoor air. Filtration will improve the air quality in your home while removing dust, debris and other unsavory particles from your air. Reducing build-up in your filters by changing them on a schedule will also increase system performance and efficiency. Making sure your residential air filters are changed on a consistent basis will extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, reduce the need for repairs and even helps reduce energy bills.
Choosing how often to change the filters in your home will depend on a number of factors. Standard filters—those that are 1 inch in size with a MERV rating between 1-12, will require more frequent changes. Generally, you should check these standard filters every 30 days and replace them roughly every 90 days. However, if you have a MERV 13 (which is our recommended filter!) or high-efficiency air filters, these require less frequent changes. Though you should still check the filter every few months, instead, you likely only have to change it every six months. The allure of less frequent changes with quality clean air is one of the main reasons homeowners choose to upgrade their filters.
How to Check Air Filters
To check the remaining lifespan of a filter, all you need to do is hold the filter up to a light source and see if light passes through easily. If it doesn’t, this means that there is too much dust and debris. Though a good sign that your filter is successfully capturing air pollutants, full filters will strain your unit and are significantly less effective at capturing air particles.
Even though it is one of the easiest HVAC maintenance fixes, filter changes are often forgotten about. How quickly an air filter builds up is dependent on the quality of the filter, the size of the home or indoor space, whether or not there are pets in the home and how frequently you use your home system. The summer season often includes lots of AC use and pollen build-up. Thus, entering the autumn months presents a perfect time to change your home air filter.
Clean the Outdoor Unit
When it comes to cleaning, don’t neglect your outdoor units. Due to the nature of being outside, they’re more susceptible to damage and blockage. This can be from dirt and soil build-up, as well as overgrown vegetation. Your outdoor unit is made up of the compressor and condenser, making it essential to the success of your HVAC system. Ensuring that the unit is clean and free of anything that could cause strain, means a more efficient system.
You can avoid calling a professional HVAC technician for expensive fixes by clearing the debris away. This is especially vital to do going into the fall and winter months. The upcoming time of year means more leaves and moisture from wet weather. You want to ensure that your outdoor units are clear and ready for the bad weather.
Consider HVAC Seasonal Maintenance
Heading into a period of high usage, and a likely shift from AC to heat, another way to prevent costly system fixes is routine maintenance. If your HVAC system isn’t in top condition before winter, it reduces indoor air quality and system lifespan. As the colder weather months roll in, you want to ensure that your HVAC unit is at its best.
While we’ve provided a couple of easy tips on doing your own HVAC maintenance and upkeep, it is still important to have the system regularly checked by a professional. We recommend that this is done at least annually, preferably twice a year. Waiting until the bad weather is already here to have the unit serviced isn’t the best idea. We suggest booking regular seasonal maintenance for the start of the fall and spring seasons. Your chosen HVAC technician can help work out a schedule that fits your specific needs, but a good rule of thumb is choosing to do it during seasonal shifts.
Improve Your Fall Indoor Air Quality This Season
Performing regular preventive maintenance and having a professional look at your unit will ensure minor issues are corrected long before they become major ones, but it shouldn’t stop there. Ideally, to fully prepare for the fall season, you should also consider indoor air quality upgrades for cleaner and fresher air.
IAQ experts can provide indoor air quality recommendations, services and upgrades for your home or business. There are plenty of ways they can help improve the air quality in your indoor space. This can be a combination of:
- Humidity Control
- Source Control
We often assume the air we breathe indoors is good without a second thought. As the fall season sends most of us back indoors full-time, now is the time to evaluate your HVAC system and home indoor air quality. If you are interested in protecting your home and the people in it from bacteria, viruses, mold, dust and other indoor air concerns, choosing both maintenance and IAQ upgrades together is a powerful combination.