As temperatures begin to fall, it will soon be the end of air conditioning season and the start of furnace season. While switching from cooling to heating is as simple as throwing a switch, there are additional steps you should take to maximize your energy efficiency and protect your equipment.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are designed to work in two directions. During the summer, they should blow air down so that you feel a breeze. During the winter, they should pull the cold air near your floor up and away from you while pushing the warm air that rose to the ceiling back down. To reverse directions, turn the fan off and flip the small black switch on the outside of its case near its motor.
Cover Your Air Conditioner
When you're done with your air conditioner for the season, place a cover over the outside unit to protect it from getting clogged with falling leaves or salt from your deicing efforts. If you use window units, consider removing them for the season and placing them somewhere that temperatures don't freeze, such as your basement. Otherwise, install a sturdy cover and ensure that the gaps around the AC are tightly insulated to keep out the winter air.
Check Your Air Filters
Even when your systems aren't running, your air filters protect them from floating dust and other particles. Leave a clean air filter in your AC to protect it over the winter, and make sure your heating system's air filter is still installed and is in good condition.
Run Your Furnace Before the Cold Arrives
Test your furnace before you need to use it. Turn the thermostat up above the inside temperature and let your furnace reach full heating power to heat the room at least one or two degrees before turning it off again. This way, if any wiring or mechanical parts were damaged during the warmer months, you'll find out about the problem before cold weather arrives and furnace repair appointments are hard to schedule. It's also a good safety measure to do a test run while you're paying close attention to your furnace since electrical problems or accumulated dust in the system could create a fire hazard.
It's best to take some time to check on all of these things before bad weather comes and you are without help. If you aren't sure what to look for or if things aren't in proper working order, let the professionals at Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning help!