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Is your HVAC system ready for fall and winter this year? The AC has been running all summer, the furnace has been off, and the whole thing probably needs some TLC. As part of preparing your Manassas, Maryland, home for winter, do your DIY maintenance tasks on your HVAC system. Homeowners who care well for these systems help prolong their lives and their efficiency.

Clean the Vent Covers

Grab a screwdriver and a damp rag for this simple task. What you’ll do is unscrew all the supply and return vent covers. Then, with the rag and your favorite eco-friendly cleaner, you’ll spray and wipe those covers free of dust and dirt. You can also clean inside your ducts a little bit. Just wipe down the part you can reach with your damp rag. Then, screw the covers back on and enjoy slightly cleaner air.

Remove Debris from the Outdoor Unit

Your outdoor unit should be in an open area near your home without anything to impede its air flow. However, the outdoors is unpredictable and even an outdoor unit with good landscaping around it will end up with some debris caught inside it. Turn off the outdoor unit by unplugging it from its power source. Then, use a vacuum with a hose to suck out any debris you can see inside it. Be careful not to take anything apart. If there’s debris stuck inside, a maintenance appointment will take care of the rest.

Change the Filter

You need to change your air filter at least every three months, at the very minimum. We recommend one to two months, but if three months is what you can remember, then your seasonal air filter change is coming up. This is a good time to evaluate what kind of filter you’re using. If you’ve got a HEPA filter and your system isn’t rated for it, the filter might be preventing good air flow in your air handler. If you’re using the cheapest kind, try stepping up to a better filter and see if you notice the air quality difference. (Hint: we think you will!)

Check Your Fall Thermostat Settings

How are your thermostat settings? It’s almost time to turn off the AC until next year, and soon you’ll be using the heating. Decide when you’ll be shutting down the AC and when the heat goes on. Check the program for your heat settings now, before you need it. Your schedule may have changed since last year, so you’ll need to adjust the times the furnace kicks on.

Schedule Maintenance

Your simplest DIY task? Getting on the phone with Griffith Energy Services to schedule your fall maintenance appointment. Your furnace hasn’t run for six months or more, and it probably needs a little bit of extra love to get it ready for the winter. Have us out early in the fall, before the weather starts to chill, to ensure your furnace is in shape when you need it. After all, the last thing you want is to realize your furnace doesn’t work on that first really cold night of the season.

Seal Your Doors and Windows

To keep all that nice, clean, temperature controlled air inside where it belongs, check the sealing on your windows and doors. Do you need to add weather-stripping to fill any gaps? Maybe you need a door sweep or two for doors with gaps beneath them. If all else fails, putting up plastic over any particularly leaky windows will do the trick, though you’ll probably want to hide the look with a nice pair of curtains. Sealing your doors and windows will help keep energy costs down during the winter.

Get your HVAC system ready early this fall, so it’s ready to give you hot air and keep you comfortable all winter. Don’t wait to schedule your maintenance appointment. Getting it out of the way before the cold weather hits is the best thing you can do. Griffith Energy Services technicians are ready to get your furnace into top shape. Call us today at 888-474-3391.

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