(BPT) – Before the snow flies and the temps get icy cold, you may want to take some extra steps to ensure that your house will stay comfortable all season long – no matter what Mother Nature sends your way. During a time when heating costs are on the rise, another advantage to making sure your HVAC system is working well is that you may save on energy bills.
When should you check your heating system? How about right now, before the autumn rush. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home will be toasty and warm – instead of having to wait weeks or even months to tune up, repair or upgrade your HVAC system.
Here’s a guide to simple steps for checking your heating and cooling system that you can start doing today.
1. Consider a thermostat upgrade.
For any home with an older thermostat, upgrading to a more energy-efficient, smart thermostat can make a huge difference in terms of comfort and energy costs. Smart thermostats allow you to control your thermostat much more easily, even when you’re far from home, so you can regulate your system and keep it running smoothly. Today’s thermostats are far easier to program to provide maximum efficiency and comfort.
2. Check the filter.
When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? Ideally, you should write the date you change it right on the filter, so there’s no question how long it’s been in there. You can also set a reminder on whatever calendar you use for regular appointments.
A dirty furnace filter makes your HVAC system a lot less efficient, not only increasing your energy bill, but also making your home’s air less clean and comfortable – plus full of potential allergens. Check your HVAC system manufacturer’s instructions on how frequently to change the filter, but remember that you can also choose to change it more frequently if someone in your family has allergies or you have pets.
3. Tune it up.
Take a quick assessment of how well your system is working by cranking up the thermostat. Is the heating turning on right away, and can you feel warm air coming through the vents? If it takes a long time for your furnace to get going or the air flow is weak, you may need more than standard maintenance. It could be time to consider upgrading your system.
Early fall is the ideal time to schedule a tune-up by a professional HVAC technician, who can clean and check your system to make sure everything is working as it should. Because techs get busier when temperatures dip below freezing, you won’t have to wait as long if you proactively schedule your tune-up now. Regular maintenance and tune-ups not only mean a warmer winter for you and your family, but also safeguard against problems that could even become safety hazards in the future.
4. Decide if you need a new system.
How old is your heating system? If it’s no longer functioning efficiently, replacing your HVAC with a newer model can offer benefits including a much warmer home all winter long – and potential savings on your energy bills.
During your HVAC tune-up, ask your technician what shape your furnace is in, and whether there are any signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced soon.
5. Assess the concrete pad’s condition.
Your outdoor condensing unit should be placed on a level concrete pad. This will ensure that it works more efficiently, plus making it safer from potential minor flooding. If you have a level, you can easily use it to check the slab that your condensing unit currently sits on. If your old concrete pad is not level and/or is in rough shape, this is something that should be corrected, whether or not you plan to replace your HVAC system.
When you’re ready to replace your condenser, one way to save money is by installing a level and strong foundation yourself. This can be done by using four 24″x24″ square concrete stones from Pavestone, along with paver sand (for leveling) and base, for drainage. Pavestone concrete stones provide a quick and easy solution to creating a solid, level foundation for your HVAC system, and don’t require expertise to install.
Learn how to install your new foundation by checking the easy-to-follow instructions on the product, and check out the similar process in this video for how to install patio stones on the Pavestone website.
By using these tips, you can be sure your home will be ready for winter, well before the season arrives. By acting now, you’ll find better prices on system maintenance or the purchase of a new thermostat or HVAC system – and less time to wait for service.