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9 HVAC Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your System for Fall

Summer has quickly come to a close, and without even realizing it, the days have gotten cooler. Pumpkin spiced flavors are already filling shelves everywhere, and before we know it, we’ll be turning on the heat! And that means your HVAC system is about to transition into an entirely different mode — after cooling it all summer long. It’s time to pull out your fall HVAC maintenance checklist to ensure your system is ready for the new season, and the harsh winter to follow!

Don’t have one? Madsen has you covered. We’ve put together 9 simple things you need to do to get your system ready for this time of year.


1. Keep Vents Clean and Accessible

As you’re blasting the AC during the summer, dust and debris can build up in your vents. Clearing all this gunk out is essential to keep your air flowing smoothly. Clogs can affect an HVAC system’s coil, blower motor, and other key parts that affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the system overall. Make sure you check this specific item off your list before turning the heat on so you can ensure better indoor air quality for your family this season.

That being said, keep your vents accessible. If they’re being blocked by furniture or carpeting, you’re only blocking air flow, which will force your system to work harder to achieve the temperature you’re asking it to. This will make your system far less efficient, unnecessarily increasing your energy bill each month.


2. Change Your Air Filters

If your air filters are blocked, it can stop your system from working optimally. And clogged air filters can also spread allergens throughout your indoor space. Changing your system’s air filters is recommended on a seasonal basis, so now’s the perfect time to switch yours.

If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, schedule your seasonal HVAC maintenance appointment, and let Madsen change your air filters for you. Don’t wait as this is one of the busiest times of year for service calls!


3. Clean Your Outdoor Unit

Before the leaves fall, any debris surrounding your outdoor unit needs to be swept away. If leaves fall on top of the debris that’s accumulated during the summer, you’re in for a long season — and a problematic winter. Give your unit a quick clean to prevent debris from accumulating and compromising the efficacy of your system. Other positive consequences include avoiding a potential fire hazard, stopping the buildup of allergens like pollen and dust, and lowering the risk of needing to get your HVAC system repaired — which can be costly.


4. Consider a Cover

If your system wasn’t looking its best this season, you might want to consider purchasing a cover to better protect your system and ultimately extend its lifespan. It can be especially helpful against inclement winter weather, including ice and snow, which could make it more difficult to access your system when temperatures are below freezing. If you do choose to get a cover, make sure it’s large enough to allow room for moisture to escape, otherwise rust and corrosion can occur.


5. Check Your Thermostat

Don’t forget about your thermostat — your HVAC’s central control panel! Take a minute to make sure it responds correctly and displays an accurate temperature reading. As long as everything’s working, change your settings to accommodate the temperature dips in the evenings and early mornings. That’ll help save energy by preventing your HVAC system from working overtime during these colder hours.

If you do find some problems with your thermostat’s functionality, catching it early is a good thing versus on a very cold day when you rely on it most. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat if you end up having to replace your current one, as it can aid in efficiency as opposed to more traditional models.


6. Consider a Replacement

If your system has seen better days, it might be time to consider a replacement. Trying to avoid the investment with multiple repairs is likely just putting a bandaid on the situation, which would end up costing you more in the long run. An outdated system isn’t going to heat your home like it should — and the last thing you want to deal with is a system failure in the dead of winter. If you think a replacement is on the horizon, now is the time to call and make an appointment.


7. Seal Air Leaks

If you can take measures to weatherize your home before winter, you can save significantly on your energy bills while sparing your HVAC system a lot of unnecessary effort. Leaky ductwork or loose weather stripping can be responsible for a lot of wasted energy, so take some time to seal key areas of your home to save yourself from a cold and expensive draft this winter.


8. Check On Your Alarms and Detectors

Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly before putting your HVAC in heat mode. Check the alarms to ensure they sound as they should, and check the batteries to ensure they’re working. Replace any devices that aren’t working at 100%. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!


9. Schedule Your Maintenance Appointment with Madsen

Our team of trusted technicians are happy to do all these steps for you! Our thorough inspection process will be sure to catch any repairs or errors before heat is a necessity this season.

Don’t get stuck with unwanted surprises this season — give us a call for routine maintenance tune-ups that will increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and lifespan of your system. Contact Madsen to schedule your seasonal appointment today.