October Monthly HVAC Maintenance from Virginia Air Heating and Cooling
Well the weather has finally started to change and get colder. Regular maintenance for your HVAC system keeps it running properly and efficiently. Here are some tips of what you should inspect, clean, schedule, and set for the month of October:
1. Air Filters Need to Be Changed
As the outdoor temperatures become comfortable, we tend to forget to change our air filter(s). Unwanted dirt and dust can build up and prevent proper airflow to your system causing performance issues and increased energy costs not to mention failures. If you have disposable filters, remove the existing filter(s) and replace with new filters. Those that have the standard 1” thick filter are suggested to replace their filters every month. Others who have the 4-5” thick media or box filters are suggested to replace their filter every three months as our area experiences all the seasons. If your filter is an electronic air cleaner, remember to wash your metal pre-filters or cells monthly according to the manufacturer’s directions and allow them to dry entirely before turning your air cleaner back on to prevent shorting your electronics out. You may find it necessary to replace your air filter(s) sooner than suggested during times of high use, in which case it’s important to keep a few back up filters handy.
2. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
October is Fire Prevention Month! The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week October 9th - 15th) is to raise fire safety awareness, and help ensure your home and family is protected.
Did you know
3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires with no working smoke alarms
Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan*
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the US
60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly throughout heating season. Replace batteries now, and test them each month, using the unit’s ‘TEST’ button. Vacuum away any dust which has accumulated on the detectors. Most folks don’t realize that their carbon monoxide detectors have a short lifespan. Please make sure your carbon monoxide detector is not in need of replacement. Some only have a one (1) year guaranteed life span, a few have up to five (5) years!
3. Supply/Return Vents and Radiators/Baseboards
Keep the air flowing properly in your home. Make sure your vents are never blocked. Blocked vents restrict airflow through your HVAC systems which will create performance issues and make your system run longer and harder. Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. The same goes for radiators and baseboards. Do not place couches, beds, or other furniture directly up against them.
4. Heating Equipment Safety
Keep the area surrounding your heating equipment clear approximately four to five feet. Never store items directly by the furnace or boiler, especially flammable or combustible material such as rags, wood, gasoline, paint, solvent, and cleaners.
5. Heating Annual Maintenance
Some of you may not have turned your heating system on yet even though we have had some chilly nights. You may want to be sure your heating system runs when you are ready for heat. We suggest turning the heat on and letting it run long enough to meet the set thermostat temperature. Just make sure it’s a chilly morning or evening so the system runs more than 10 minutes. If you haven’t already scheduled your heating maintenance, make sure to contact us to schedule your regular maintenance for your HVAC system before any issues arise during falling temperatures.