Our Top Tips for Homeowners
As summer ends, it's time to start thinking about autumn. While the cooler weather will eventually mean that we start using our heaters instead of our air conditioners, you don't want to forget about your AC completely. Below we provide five of our top tips for transitioning your air conditioning system from summer to fall and what you can do to maximize your energy efficiency during these last few weeks of summer heat.
Tip #1: Don’t Forget About Your Air Filters
You may already know that you need to change your air filters every three months (four times a year), and many people do this seasonally. We recommend changing your air filters in September so that your HVAC system is ready for the changes that come with the fall. Different plants bloom or lose their leaves as the weather cools, leading to different allergy triggers. Additionally, pets may begin shedding in anticipation of growing their winter coats. All of this can cause a reduction in your indoor air quality. Changing your filters can help mitigate this problem and let you start the season with clean, fresh air.
Review our blog from last month to learn more about your HVAC system’s air filters.
Tip #2: Find Ways to Use Your AC Less
The weather here in Maryland and Virginia is still quite hot and humid in late August. But we see the nights and early mornings getting a little cooler in September. This change allows homeowners to save a little money on their cooling costs.
When the temperature outside is lower than inside, open your windows and use fans to bring the fresh air in (the evening and early morning are usually great times for this). As the temperature starts to climb outside, close up your home, drawing the blinds and curtains to keep the heat out (especially during the afternoon when temperatures peak). This should help you delay the need to turn your AC on without sacrificing your comfort.
Tip #3: Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clean
One of our favorite parts of the fall season is seeing the leaves change color. However, with this also comes messier yards as the trees lose their leaves. This debris can build up around your AC's outside unit. The leaves can restrict airflow into the air conditioner unit, causing it to run less efficiently. Make a habit of checking the outdoor unit every week or two (whenever you mow your lawn or do your normal yard work routine is a great time for this). If you find any debris, clear it away from the unit.
Tip #4: Double Check Your Thermostat Settings
Many of us have our thermostats set to a specific schedule. This means that, for the most part, our systems follow the same patterns each day. However, with the change in weather, our air conditioning and heating needs also change. Checking your thermostat settings is especially helpful if you have an intuitive smart thermostat that builds a schedule based on what it thinks your habits are. If your personal schedule or patterns change with the new season, you may find that the program established by your smart thermostat needs to be changed.
August and September are great times to check your current thermostat settings and update them to your present needs. This is also a good time to take advantage of your thermostat's eco settings and heat/cool hybrid settings. These settings provide you with more flexibility, allowing you to establish settings that will trigger both the air conditioning and the heating system depending on how temperatures fluctuate.
Tip #5: Get Your Heater Ready
As you start winding down your air conditioning, it is time to start thinking about getting your heater ready for the winter. September is the perfect time to schedule your annual heater or furnace inspection. This time of year, heating companies like Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing aren’t as busy, and you should be able to schedule a maintenance visit for when it is convenient for you. Scheduling your heater maintenance in early fall also helps ensure that you won’t suffer a heater breakdown when the cold weather hits.
Now is also a great time to inspect your air conditioning to ensure no parts require changing after the summer season.
If you need help transitioning your AC to fall or want to schedule your yearly heating system inspection, send us a message. We will take care of you and your HVAC system in no time.