Ahead of the holiday season, you may be thinking about hosting family and friends for football games, seasonal baking, holiday parties, and more. Most people think about cleaning and decorating their homes, but few people think of their HVAC system.
We take HVAC performance for granted, but if something goes wrong unexpectedly, it can derail your holiday plans. You should add HVAC maintenance to your checklist when getting ready to host for the holidays. Here are some tips that can help you get your home ready for the holidays.
Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
The number one thing you can do to ensure your HVAC system or furnace will last through the busy holiday season is to schedule a maintenance appointment. Your heating system is used constantly throughout the winter, and while most systems withstand heavy use well, parts do wear out and break.
When you schedule an HVAC or furnace tune-up, you can catch small issues and address them before they turn into big problems, avoiding costly furnace repair bills. There are other benefits of scheduling a maintenance appointment, including:
- Understanding the current condition of your heater
- Maintaining the air quality of your home
- Extending the life of your heating system
- Making sure your unit is running efficiently, saving you money on utility bills
A maintenance appointment does not have to be a hassle. The professionals at Global Cooling can be in and out in no time and quickly repair any issues if they are uncovered.
Check the Air Filter
An air filter keeps contaminants such as mold, mites, pet dander, and viruses out of your home’s air. A dirty air filter does not effectively remove these unwanted particles and pollutants from your home and may impact your holiday guests.
In addition, dirty air filters prevent proper airflow in and out of your home and make your system work harder, which could result in a more expensive utility bill. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to replace the filter every 30 to 90 days.
While air filters are generally easy to replace, it is always best to consult a professional to ensure they are installed properly and securely.
Indoor Air Quality Services
If you are still concerned about the air quality in your home after changing the filter, look into hiring a professional who provides indoor air quality services. There is reason to be concerned about the air quality in your home. According to the EPA, the air within our homes is up to five times as polluted as the air outside.
While filters effectively reduce some air contaminants, they aren’t as successful at capturing some of the smaller particles that can make their way into your home. One of the best ways to reduce the presence of these particles is to install ultraviolet germicidal technology (UV lights) in your HVAC system.
These devices are commonly used in hospitals and can eliminate a variety of pollutants in your air, including:
- Cigarette smoke
- Foul odors
They can be installed quickly and provide continuous protection for your home.
Clean Your Outdoor Unit
You may not pay much attention to your outdoor HVAC unit. However, one of the most effective ways to make sure your unit keeps running is clearing it of debris. Dirt, twigs, leaves, and insects can make their way into your outdoor unit and potentially cause damage.
Particles from debris near your outdoor unit can also make their way into your vents, making your filters work harder and wear out faster. You should make a habit of regularly checking the outdoor unit for any visible signs of excess debris or particles.
If the debris is located inside of your outdoor unit then make sure it is cleaned by a licensed technician to avoid injury from the fan or electrical shock.
Fix Air Leaks
Sometimes air leaks in your home are obvious, and you can hear the wind or feel a draft. But other times, leaks are not obvious because they are in a location you don’t spend a lot of time in or because they are too small to notice. However, no matter how small a leak is, it can impact your heating system.
Well-sealed homes use significantly less energy, extending the life of your heating system and reducing your energy bills. Do a thorough inspection of your home, especially doors and windows, to detect any leaks. Weatherstripping and caulking are two simple and effective solutions for sealing air leaks.
Double Check for Flammable Objects
While most homeowners make a point to be careful with flammable objects near heating systems, the holidays can be chaotic, and you may overlook simple things like this. Keeping things like wrapping paper and boxes away from heating systems is critical to ensure the safety of your home.
Each year, fires are started in Clermont, FL, because Christmas presents or a Christmas tree are too close to a furnace. It is especially important to inspect your heating system’s surrounding area if you plan to travel for the holidays.
Adjust Your Thermostat
If you are hosting family or friends for the holidays, your thermostat does not need to be set to the same temperature as when it is just you and your family at home. With several additional bodies in your home, it is bound to heat up, and it can take a while for your home to cool down.
In anticipation of this, turn down your thermostat before guests arrive. In addition, if you will be out of town for the holidays, you don’t need to keep your home at a comfortable temperature while you are away. Just make sure to set it warm enough to avoid any pipe freezing.
Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you have a gas furnace, carbon monoxide poisoning is always a risk. Old or clogged venting can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in the vents, which can be extremely dangerous. Regular maintenance will ensure your furnace is running safely, but it is still a good idea to keep your detectors in good shape.
Things to Know About Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors are not as simple as installing and forgetting. They must be installed, placed, and maintained properly. It is important to have alarms on every level of your house and in all sleeping areas so that anyone in the home can hear the detectors.
You should also familiarize yourself with the different beeping patterns. One beep can mean that your battery is low, while four beeps may mean carbon monoxide in the air. Read your detector manual to understand what each of these signals means.
Finally, just like any other electronic device, carbon monoxide detectors need maintenance. You should test them once a month, change the batteries every six months, and replace the entire device every 5 to 7 years.
Simple things like adjusting ceiling fans and opening the window shades will help keep your home warm.
Ceiling fans have a switch on the base that reverses the direction the blades rotate. Changing this setting helps circulate the warm air that can become trapped near the ceiling. Ceiling fans can also help circulate the warm air created by the sun shining in during the day. No matter your holiday plans, you should make time to get your home ready for the holidays. Finding a professional to help you can be as easy as searching “HVAC technician near me” or “AC maintenance near me.” If you are in the Clermont, FL area and require a furnace tune-up, furnace repair, indoor air quality services, or any other heating system needs, call Global Cooling today to schedule an appointment.