In one year, your HVAC system can go through a lot. In East Tennessee, the weather is notoriously fickle, often swaying between drastic highs and lows as the seasons change. These changes in the weather can cause your heating and cooling systems stress, allowing them to accumulate more wear and tear. Fortunately, there are ways that homeowners can help keep their systems in good shape. Here is how you can keep your HVAC system running perfectly all year long.
What You Can Do to Prepare Your HVAC System for Spring
In East Tennessee, springtime is equally loved and hated. For many Tennesseans, the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, which truly come alive during the springtime, makes the season their favorite. For others, the allergies of the springtime are enough to inspire a reversion back into hibernation. Whether you love or hate spring, you need your HVAC system to be at the top of its game to be able to tackle it. As spring approaches, taking time to ensure that your HVAC system is in working condition can give you peace of mind as that famous East Tennessee spring rolls around.
When it comes time to gear up for spring, it’s a good idea to run the gamut on HVAC inspection. To ensure that your system is ready to work properly for you throughout the spring season, it’s a good idea to check that all of its parts are cleaned and tested.
After the long and sometimes harsh winter, your heating and air conditioning systems are probably in desperate need of some TLC. One of the first places that you will want to look at is your outdoor unit. Over the course of a season, your outdoor unit can accumulate a lot of dirt and debris. Remove as much of this debris as possible from your external unit, to ensure that there are no loose pieces in or around it.
Take care to trim back any landscaping that encroaches upon your unit, as you want your unit to be able to function without any unnecessary stress. If properly maintained, landscaping can be a popular way to conceal your external air conditioning unit while also providing some protection from the unrelenting springtime sun. Remember to leave at least 2-3 feet of space between your outdoor unit and any plant life that surrounds it. For more information on how landscaping can help your HVAC to run more easily, read What’s Safe to Plant Around Your HVAC Unit.
Also, take care to examine the surface that your outdoor unit is sitting upon, and inspect it for any signs of damage. Winter storms can be particularly brutal, so if you suspect there is any damage to your outdoor air conditioning unit, be sure to schedule maintenance by a trained professional.
After you’ve made sure that your external HVAC component is running smoothly, you’ll want to examine the internal components of your system, as well. Some of the important elements of your interior HVAC system that you will want to check out are your air filters, ducts, and any areas where there may be an air leak present. For more tips about getting your HVAC system geared up for the springtime, check out 10 Spring HVAC Maintenance Tips.
How to Keep Your HVAC Running in Summer
In the summertime, your HVAC system is working hard to ensure that you stay cool. To help your system run effectively, make sure that your summertime maintenance has been checked off your to-do list. In addition to regular HVAC maintenance, the summertime calls for a few extra measures to make sure that your system is in fighting shape. Several different features of your home are designed to alleviate the stress of the summer heat on your air conditioning system, such as shades, ceiling fans, insulation, and even the color of your house.
Shades can help to alleviate some of the burden of summer on your heating and cooling system by blocking out sunlight which can heat your home quickly. By blocking out this sunlight, you can prevent your HVAC system from having to continuously cool areas of your home that are exposed to windows. Planting trees around your home can also provide an excellent source of shade, leading to a reduction in the cost of your energy bills for summers to come. For more information about how you can lower your energy costs during the summer, read How to Save Money on Your Air Conditioning This Summer.
Ceiling fans are also an important feature of your home to utilize in the summer, as they require low amounts of electricity and can help supplement your air conditioning efforts. In the summertime, be sure that your fan is running counterclockwise, as this will create a cooling effect by pushing cool air down into any room.
Insulation is important year-round, but especially in the summer months. With proper insulation, your home can hold onto its cool air, while also keeping warmer air blocked out. When any leaks in the home’s insulation are present, it spells trouble for energy costs as well as HVAC performance. A home that keeps its cool air in and warm air out has already won half the battle when summertime in East Tennessee rolls around.
Who would have guessed that the color of your home could make a difference in your energy bill? House color can contribute significantly to your energy consumption in the summer months. Darker colored homes absorb more sunlight and heat than lighter colored homes, making them preferable during the winter months, but not so much during the summer months.
By utilizing these different features of your home, you can support your heating and air conditioning system in providing you with the proper cooling that will keep you comfortable during the warm summer months in East Tennessee. To learn more about how you can make sure that your home remains cool as a cucumber during the summertime, read Top HVAC Tips to Keep Summer Cool.
Prepare Your HVAC System for Autumn
As you prepare yourself for the changing temperatures of autumn, make sure that your HVAC system is prepared, too. The cooling temperatures of this season present their own unique challenges to your heating and cooling system, so making sure that there are no other obstacles in the way of your HVAC system is the first step to ensuring that you stay comfortable during fall.
As fall rolls around, you’ll want to check your external unit again for any damage or debris. When the leaves begin to fall, they can obstruct your external air conditioning unit, causing it to work even harder than it has to. You will also want to check that any landscaping near your unit hasn’t become overgrown during the summer months. As a rule, plants should always be about 2-3 feet away from your outdoor unit to prevent any obstructions. Ensuring that your external unit has ample airflow will allow it to perform to the best of its ability.
Another important component of your HVAC system that you will want to make sure is in working condition is your heating system. As the temperatures begin to drop, you will need to begin heating your home to remain comfortable. Before heating your home, inspect several areas of your HVAC system thoroughly, such as your duct system, home air leaks, and chimney.
Your duct system is made up of tubing that delivers either heated or cooled air to the rooms of your home. When the dropping temperatures eventually force you to turn on your heat, make sure that this duct system has been carefully inspected, as any leaks in it can cause your energy consumption to skyrocket. Ultimately, checking out your duct system can save you money in energy bills. In the same vein as your duct system, any home air leaks can be a major headache for homeowners. As you switch over to heating your home for the season, be sure to check that your home is completely sealed up. Common problem areas that may present air leaks in your home are the areas around door frames and window frames. Spotting these and getting them sealed up before turning on the heat can save you money on your energy bills during the fall and winter seasons.
One of the most important elements of your home to inspect before using is your chimney. Because chimneys can be extremely dangerous if not inspected properly, make sure to call a professional to do a thorough chimney inspection if you plan to use yours during the fall season. Getting your chimney inspected before using it is an important step in fire prevention.
For many East Tennesseans, fall allergens are a major concern when the seasons begin to change. While some allergies may be unavoidable, you can do yourself a favor by making sure that your HVAC system is not only working to keep you comfortable but also to keep allergens out of your home. Two important elements of your HVAC system to attend to if you’re an allergy sufferer are your air filters and your registers. Changing your air filters ensures that both allergens and other pollutants are not being blown around your home. If you’re wondering what a register is, you may be in good company. Registers are the grates that cover ducts in the rooms of your home. These grates may collect allergens, pet hair, and dust over time which can then be blown back into the air of your home, causing your allergies to flare up. By cleaning your registers with soap and water, you can keep these contaminants from seeping back into the air of your home.
In East Tennessee, autumn can be a very taxing time on your HVAC system. Your system may be having to work overtime to switch from heating to cooling to accommodate the fickle East Tennessee weather, so it’s always good to perform routine maintenance when heading into this season. If you are looking to learn more about how to prepare your HVAC system for the fall season, check out Preparing for Autumn: Your Guide to HVAC Maintenance.
Keep Your HVAC Working in Winter
During the wintertime, your HVAC system basically becomes an additional family member in your household, and you would be devastated to find come home and find them gone. Unfortunately, every winter some families must deal with the realities of a non-functional HVAC unit. In East Tennessee, that may mean anything from a slightly chilly night to a full-blown snowstorm. When it comes to winter HVAC maintenance, it’s always better to be safe than sorry by preparing to clean and perform routine maintenance before the season gets fully underway.
Your heating system requires a little TLC before the season gets rolling. Most winter HVAC issues are a result of either a lack of cleaning or maintenance. Before you fire up your heating system for the first time, make sure that you have cleaned your air filters, the blower in your furnace, your flame sensor, burners, and heater filters. Lack of cleaning or improper cleaning of these components can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to, which can ultimately lead to total system failure. Don’t forget to inspect your heat pump and thermostat to ensure that they are also in working order. Read more about how Regular Maintenance Could Keep Your Heat Working this Winter.
Homeowners, beware! When you turn on your heat for the first time, you may smell something a bit funky. While some smells are natural, others are dangerous and require the homeowner to contact a reputable HVAC company for emergency HVAC servicing. 4 Weird Smells You Might Notice When You First Turn on Your Heat are a dusty or burning smell, a musty or mildewy smell, a sulfuric smell, and an electrical burning smell.
If you notice a dusty or burning smell when you first turn on your heat, don’t panic. This smell is normal, as dust, dirt, and other debris have gathered on different components of your heating system. You shouldn’t be able to detect a smell after the particles have been burned off your heating components, and you can enjoy getting warm and cozy. If the smell lingers for more than a few days, be sure to have a professional come check out your heating and air conditioning systems.
While a musty or mildewy scent is not exactly pleasant for a homeowner, it isn’t cause for alarm either. If your home is heated by a furnace, the smell should dissipate within a day, as a furnace heats up enough to kill the bacteria, mold, or mildew that is causing the scent. Those with a heat pump should start to solve the problem by replacing their air filter and, if that doesn’t work, by calling a heating and air conditioning professional to come to check it out.
If you turn your heat on and notice a sulfuric smell or a smell of rotten eggs, this can be an indicator of an HVAC emergency, and you should call an HVAC company immediately for emergency service as well as turn your heat off. This smell can indicate that there is a gas leak in your home, which can result in your home being extremely flammable. If you’re smelling sulfur when you turn on your heat, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals to sort out.
While this one may seem self-explanatory, if you notice an electrical burning smell when you first turn on your heat, turn it off immediately. This smell means that there is a serious problem in your HVAC system that needs to be examined by a professional. Electrical problems are no joke, and they can cause you to burn out your motor or even cause a fire. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this smell, so be sure to let a professional handle it if you notice it in your home.
HVAC Maintenance and Repair Professionals in Knoxville, TN
Over the course of a year, your heating and cooling systems go through a lot to keep you comfortable. From the sunny afternoons of the spring to the chilly nights of the winter, your HVAC system has truly seen it all when it comes to East Tennessee weather. By performing routine maintenance and cleaning procedures each season, you can ensure that your HVAC system is as effective as it can possibly be. At City Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer HVAC services year-round to keep your home comfortable for you and your family. If you are looking for heating and air conditioning experts who can take care of your HVAC system through all four seasons, give City Heating and Air Conditioning a call at 865-938-1005 or contact us on our website today.