As most small landlords and homeowners know, the transition from air conditioning season to furnace season isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Some pre-winter HVAC maintenance will help ensure your building’s system operates efficiently and effectively for the long term.
Here are a few suggestions from the heating/cooling experts at Napoleon to help prepare you for the cold days of winter ahead:
- Winterize your A/C units
The first step in your pre-winter maintenance plan is to get those air conditioners prepared for their long, dormant period in storage. Clear units of any debris — this includes leaves, twigs, dust, dirt, and any critters that may gotten inside, particular around on the condenser coils. Cover the cleaned units securely and store them in a safe, dry place for winter.
- Clear the vents
Once you’ve removed and dealt with the A/C units, check the vents for your furnace. These are likely white PVC pipes coming out of the building just above ground level. Make sure they are clear of obstructions and that no rodents or birds have gotten inside and made a nest. It’s a good practice to check these regularly over the course of winter to ensure they remain clear of ice and snow.
- Check your batteries
Most newer thermostats are battery powered, and you wouldn’t want them dying in the middle of a blizzard. Also, this is a good time to check the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Change the furnace filter
The furnace filter is an important system that keeps dust and allergens from spreading around the building. Ideally it should be changed every three months, and fall before the furnace goes on, is the ideal time to start.
- Clean your ducts
On average, duct cleaning should be done once a year. With prolonged use, your ductwork will accumulate a significant amount of dust and irritants. Every time air blows through the ducts—like the moment you turn on the furnace for the first time—these particles will circulate throughout the building.
- Get an inspection
A professional inspection of your HVAC system will ensure everything is in good working order, and will flag any potential problems that may arise over the upcoming winter.
- Turn it on
Finally, with all of that done, turn your thermostat to the heat setting and set the temperature a few degrees above normal to get the system to kick on. Check the vents in the building to ensure warm air is coming through. Once you are satisfied, go back to the thermostat and program it to a comfortable setting, one that will best serve your residents even on winter’s coldest days.
For more information on HVAC maintenance, visit www.napoleon.com.