Las Vegas sees very pleasant temperatures in the fall, but it can get a little chilly at night. While it doesn’t have to work as hard as it did in the summer, your HVAC system still needs to be in good working condition to keep your home comfortable throughout the season. Properly preparing your air conditioner for fall also helps it transition smoothly to winter when it’s required to handle higher heating loads. Here are 5 HVAC maintenance tips for fall in Las Vegas:
1. Replacing the Air Filter
Replacing the air filter is an easy and inexpensive task, but it can do wonders for your home’s comfort and energy bills. After working extremely hard in the summer, your air conditioner is likely to have a dirty air filter. A dirty or clogged filter can hinder the movement of conditioned air to your indoor space, resulting in a more uncomfortable home. It can also cause your equipment to experience additional strain and breakdowns. Additionally, a clogged filter won’t be able to trap dirt and dust effectively, so you can expect your indoor air to become more polluted.
You should set a reminder to check your filter once a month and change it if it’s dirty or clogged. The general rule is to replace your air filter once every 30 to 90 days. You’ll probably have to change it more frequently if you use your air conditioner a lot, open your windows often, or have pets in your home. For the best results, you may want to consider using high-efficiency pleated filters. These filters have folds that enable them to trap smaller particles than regular filters. They can go a long way in keeping your system and home clean, resulting is a healthier living environment.
2. Cleaning the Outdoor Condenser
Falling leaves in autumn may be beautiful, but they can be detrimental to your outdoor condensing unit and the safety of your family. If they somehow end up inside the condenser, they may prevent it from running smoothly or cause an electrical failure that can possibly result in a fire. Dirt, dust, pollen, twigs, and small objects can also get inside the device and lead to a variety of issues, from reduced airflow to damaged components.
Keeping your outdoor condensing unit free of dirt and debris can improve its performance and efficiency and help you avoid expensive repairs in the future. Remove any leaves, twigs, or objects within two feet of the device and trim away any branches that have grown too close to it. Also, make sure there are no objects or structures that may be blocking its airflow. In fall, you’ll want to clean the area around your outdoor unit more often because fallen leaves can accumulate more quickly in your yard. Another effective way to prevent debris from getting into the device is to cover it up whenever you aren’t using your HVAC system.
3. Checking the Thermostat
The thermostat is an important device in your HVAC system. It sends signals to the control board, the brain of your unit, to ensure that everything works together to maintain a comfortable environment in your home. If it isn’t working properly, it can cause your air-conditioner to experience a wide range of problems, such as short cycling, nonstop operation, inability to start, and failure to produce your desired temperature. While thermostat problems are often minor issues, you’ll want to fix them as soon as possible since they can affect your system’s functionality.
Checking your thermostat is one way to determine if your HVAC system is working well. If it responds properly and shows an accurate temperature reading, it means that it’s in good condition. If you’re using a programmable thermostat, the beginning of fall is a good time to change the temperature settings to make sure they’re more appropriate for the changing weather conditions. This will ensure that your air conditioner won’t be working harder than necessary. Consider switching to a programmable thermostat if you haven’t done so because it can improve comfort levels in your home and help you save money and trouble.
4. Prevent Clogging in the Condensate Drain Line
Checking the condensate drain line is another important task you should do as part of your fall HVAC maintenance. The condensate drain line functions to drain away moisture produced by your air-conditioner, but it can become clogged over time as a result of algae, mold, and debris buildup. When this happens, the water stays in the line or drain pan and evaporates back into the air, leading to increased humidity levels. High humidity can promote mold and mildew growth, which worsens your indoor air quality and increases your risk of developing health problems. Additionally, the drain pan may overflow and cause damage to your equipment and property.
You may be able to prevent clogging in the condensate drain line by pouring a cup of vinegar into it once every two months. This can help kill algae, fungi, and mold before they have a chance to grow and clog up the line. Vinegar is a good option for preventative maintenance because it won’t cause damage to the drain line at any time of the year. However, if your condensate drain line is already clogged, the best thing to do is to call in an HVAC professional. While you’re changing the air filter, you should also take a look at the drain pan. If it’s full, it means that the condensate drain line is clogged.
5. Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Visit
If you want your HVAC system to function at its best in fall, you have to make sure it’s comprehensively serviced and inspected. While the aforementioned maintenance tasks can improve the performance and efficiency of your air-conditioner, there are many other aspects of your equipment that need attention. Some tasks are riskier and more complex, and they shouldn’t be carried out by people who haven’t undergone professional training. Only a trained technician can thoroughly inspect your HVAC unit and perform all the necessary tasks to keep it in tiptop condition. Scheduling for professional HVAC maintenance is the best way to ensure your system will transition smoothly from cooling to heating season.
During an HVAC maintenance visit, the technicians will conduct a thorough inspection of your system to identify all the components that need to be serviced, repaired, or replaced. If they find any problems, they can fix them immediately to prevent expensive repairs in the future. Additionally, they’ll perform a wide variety of tasks to improve the performance and condition of your system, including inspecting the thermostat, replacing the filter, lubricating the motors, cleaning the evaporator coil, cleaning the condensing unit, and checking the refrigerant level. While it comes with a fee, professional HVAC maintenance is worth your money because it can make your home more comfortable, lower your energy bills, and help you avoid costly repairs.
Finding the Right HVAC Maintenance Service Provider
As long as you have an HVAC system, you can benefit from establishing a relationship with a reliable HVAC contractor. Besides scheduling for maintenance this fall, you can also contact the company if your equipment suddenly experiences a major malfunction or breakdown. Choosing the right contractor can be a daunting task, considering that there are numerous options available in Las Vegas. The following are several useful tips that can help you find your go-to HVAC service provider:
Check Licensing and Certification
You can start narrowing down your options by making a shortlist of contractors that are licensed to provide HVAC services and have certified technicians. This is important because technicians who haven’t undergone proper training are more likely to make mistakes and cause damage to your equipment. Since your HVAC system is a substantial investment, you don’t want to leave it in the wrong hands.
Evaluate Reviews, Referrals, and Ratings
If an HVAC contractor isn’t backed by a large number of happy customers, it isn’t worth your consideration. One of the easiest ways to find a good HVAC company is to ask your family members, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. Find out why they recommend those contractors and whether they’ll hire them again in the future.
If you’re unable to get recommendations, you can go online and do some research on the companies in your shortlist. Any reputable HVAC contractor should have a website that displays reviews from its customers. If the contractors have an online business profile or social media presence, you can read what their customers say about them.
Compare Proposals from Different Contractors
While it’s tempting to choose the contractor that offers the lowest rates, you should consider the value you’re getting. The number and types of maintenance tasks performed in a single visit may vary from one company to another. Companies that take pride in their work and truly want to properly maintain your HVAC system often have a more comprehensive maintenance process. They may charge a little more for their services, but they’ll give you better value for your money. Besides getting quotes from the contractors, you should also find out exactly what they’ll do during a maintenance visit so that you can assess the value they’re providing.
If you’re planning to replace your HVAC unit, avoid working with a contractor that offers you an estimate over the phone without coming to your home. A good HVAC company will thoroughly examine your home to determine the best system for your cooling and heating needs.
Getting your HVAC system ready for fall may require you to invest some time, effort, and money, but it’s a necessary task that can be beneficial in many ways. If you want to give your equipment the best possible care, consider contacting The Cooling Company. Over the years, we have provided quick, affordable, and top-quality HVAC services for thousands of homeowners in Las Vegas, many of whom have become our regular customers. Our impressive track record for providing high levels of customer satisfaction has made us one of the leading HVAC companies in the area. Call us today at (702) 790-8277 to find out about our fall HVAC maintenance services.