Autumn Traditions, New and Old A Fall Checklist
We’re teetering on the brink of having to retire our flip flops and t-shirts for hoodies and shoes of the closed toed variety. What I’m trying to say is, Happy Fall, y’all — or if you’re from our neck of the woods, Happy Fall, you guys. This fall, we encourage you to partake in all your family’s old traditions: carve a pumpkin, drink that apple cider, throw a football party, or take a cue from this guy and jump in a pile of leaves. We also encourage you to start a new fall tradition: prepare your home and HVAC system for cold weather.
DIY HVAC Fall Checklist:
Replace Your Filter
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. The easiest way to:
Extend the life of your HVAC unit
Keep energy costs down
Maintain healthy air quality
Keep your heating and cooling system clean
is simple: Replace your filter. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average household energy bill is about $2,200 per year. If you change your filter per manufacturer instructions (typically once a month), you could slash your energy costs by as much as 15%. If you’re unsure how to change your furnace filter, this video will guide you through the process. Not into videos? No problem. When our Suterhero visits to complete your Fall Maintenance, ask them to show you how to change the filter – they love to help, and are happy to explain or answer any (all!) of your questions.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Having your fan run clockwise during the colder months makes a huge impact on your family’s comfort. During winter, warm air rises up to the ceiling fan while cool air will stay close to the ground. By flipping a switch and reversing your ceiling fan, cool air is forced up, and warmer air is pushed down. Depending on what kind of ceiling fan you have, you may have to remove a few screws to find the reversal switch.
Check for Drafts
Doors and windows with cracks or leaks can have a huge impact on your energy bill and comfort. In fact, if you added up all the holes, leaks, and gaps in the average American home, it would be like having a window open every day of the year. Our advice: check your weather stripping and caulking and replace any that are cracked or broken.
Clear Your Vents
Blocked vents will decrease airflow in a room, and it’s important to make sure that nothing is potentially blocking your vents. Common culprits include furniture, blinds, and carpet. Also, some people are under the impression that closing off your vents will save energy, and this does seem like a good idea, but a study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory begs to differ. The study concluded that if your home has a modern central heating and air conditioning system, closing off vents may cause an increase in energy use. They found that any benefit that was derived from the closing of vents was largely offset by duct leakage.
Program Your Thermostat
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you should strongly consider investing in one. If you set your thermostat back 7-10 degrees while you sleep or are away from home, you could save up to 10% on your heating and cooling bill each year. Not sure what to get, or how to install it? Give us a call! We stock a variety of smart home devices, including programmable thermostats, from a variety of manufacturers, like Honeywell and Lennox. We’ll help you find the right device – and, of course, we can install your new thermostat and show you how to use it.
Clean Your Vents
Vacuum and dust your vents to help get rid of pollen, dust, and pet dander. If you notice debris or your vents resemble the upper left portion picture below, contact us to schedule a duct cleaning. Dirty ducts lead to poor air quality and can negatively effect the health of your family. This is especially true for children, the elderly, and people with breathing issues.
Fall Tune Up
Performing DIY Fall HVAC prep will, without a doubt, help cut back on energy use and save you money, but we cannot downplay the importance of scheduling your fall check up. Our experienced HVAC technicians will fix small problems before they become huge, costly ones. Our Fall Maintenance includes a 21-point inspection and tune up: it’s thorough and will save you time, money, and energy down the road.