How to Check your HVAC Unit Before Winter
There are always a few things you can do yourself to at least have an idea of how well your unit is running. Before you start any maintenance with your machine, make sure you have new filters to replace your old filters with (if you don’t check and replace them at least 3-4 times a year already). Having the filters already will save you time when looking over your unit.
A. Power your unit down
**ask Bill if there’s another way to do this besides just turning the thermostat off** – Make sure you turn your unit off before checking your unit. It’s both; for safety, and gives you the proper time to check a few things. In addition, when you check your vents you don’t have to worry about the air blowing in your face.
B. Replace your filters
We can’t stress how important it is for you to replace your air filters regularly. You should be replacing your filters every 3 months (so 4 times per year). If you don’t regularly replace your air filters, we recommend you do this now too. Having clean filters will assure that your machine runs with less stress (prolonging the life of your HVAC unit), saving you money on your energy bill and keeping your homes air much cleaner.
C. Check your belts [Generally only a commercial unit]
Living in Southern Maryland, we’re constantly living with temperature fluctuations on a week-to-week basis… One week it can be 78 degrees and dry, but the week after it’s 58 degrees and humid. This constant change in temperature really shortens the lifespan on the belts to our units. We can thank the Chesapeake Bay for the extreme temperature changes. You’re looking for cracks or damage to the belt. ([put this in a box quote so it’s like an image] “9/10 times a damaged or cracked belt won’t last the next season without having issues.” ) (For commercial units only)
D. Inspect your vents
You wouldn’t believe how many homes we go in and find something lodged or blocking the opening of the air vents. Sometimes it’s a child’s toy, but most of the time it’s furniture causing the blockage. Imagine you’re setting your living room to 71 degrees, but two of your floor vents have your furniture over them… Your unit will have to work harder to keep the comfortable temperature you’re looking for.
E. (Most Important) Power your unit back on (Sound Test)
**refer to A.** now turn your unit and thermostat on. Go next to your unit and listen for unusual sounds. Any type of banging or rattling can be a sign of something wrong with your unit. If you are hearing any unusual sounds, this is the point you should definitely call for a professional diagnosis.
We do inspections of your unit for $55 if you call the number below. We’ll give you everything you need to know about your unit, but we never recommend any work that wouldn’t absolutely be needed.
We never tell a homeowner their unit needs replacing unless it’s absolutely needed. We know better than anyone the expense related with an HVAC unit being replaced, so we love sharing these tips when it starts getting a little chilly outside.