19 Sep Four Key Fall Heating FAQs
Fall is officially here. ‘Tis the season for Friday Night Football, brilliant displays of color, and much cooler temperatures. As we head into October, many people will be turning on their heating systems for the first time since winter. We do not want your fall season to be foiled by your hvac system failing to keep you comfortable and cozy, so we have compiled a list of Four Key Fall Questions for Homeowners regarding their HVAC.
Should I Open My Windows at Night?
Warm days and cool nights make the fall season an excellent time for homeowners to reduce their energy consumption and save money. Opening windows at night is one way can potentially save families money on their energy bill; however, there are a few important factors to consider:
- Change the Thermostat No More than Five Degrees. September and October are still fairly humid, especially during the day. One of the main purposes of your HVAC system is to dehumidify your home. If you turn the thermostat way up so that the air conditioner never engages, your home will become humid, and the unit will have to work extra hard when it finally does engage. Similar to the principle we proposed for traveling, set your thermostat no more than five degrees from its standard setting.
- Be Conscious of Fall Allergens. Prevalent allergens like ragweed and outdoor mold spores irritate allergy sufferers throughout autumn. Open windows invite allergens in your home, so be sure to dust and vacuum regularly.
- Close Windows During the Day. What ground you make up at night by opening windows will be lost on warm days if you forget to close them. Make sure you close windows so that your air conditioning system does not have to work extra hard during the day.
- Open Drapes and Blinds on Sunny Days. In winter you can offset some of your heating energy needs by opening drapes and blinds during the day, especially on those windows that receive direct sunlight. Your drapes and blinds help insulate your home, so it is important to close them when the sun sets.
What is that Burning Smell?
It is not at all uncommon for families to smell a burning odor when they first turn on the heating system after a long season of being unused. While the heating system is idle, dust will collect in the heating coil, heating strips, and vents.
The dust should burn off and the odor should go away after a short while; however, if it lingers more than 24 hours, it is very important to call a professional HVAC technician right away as it could be indicative of failing heating components.
Should I Still Change My Filters?
Autumn brings its own array of airflow challenges for your HVAC system. Regularly (monthly) changing your air filters is key to maintaining airflow and reducing the amount of allergy irritants inside your home. If you keep the widows open at night, it is important inspect your filters as often as every few weeks.
Additionally, beautiful fall foliage eventually becomes yard debris once the leaves cease clinging to their branches. If those leaves are allowed to collect on and around your HVAC unit, they can wreak havoc on airflow. Improper airflow to your unit will reduce its lifespan and could cause it to malfunction.
Should I Have my System Inspected?
It is very wise for homeowners to have their heating systems inspected before they first turn them on. Professional service technicians are trained to recognize minor issues that can lead to major repairs if left unchecked. Additionally, technicians can recognize that your heat exchanger is not cracked or damaged and emitting carbon monoxide. We recommend having your unit inspected annually.
Maintaining your heating and air conditioning system is very important for the life of your unit and safety of your family. Our maintenance plans help bring peace of mind to homeowners.