Cooling and Heating Tips for Florida Winters
With the scorching dog days of summer gone in Brevard County, FL, it’s time your air conditioning unit takes a break with cooler months ahead. As we head into a cooler or even cold winter (Florida cold that is) and have to switch from having the air conditioner on all day to turning on the heat, there are some things to consider first. Here are just a few tips that you might find useful while your air conditioning and heating system transitions to cooler months.
Have Your Furnace Air Ducts Cleaned
Over time, your HVAC unit can begin to become sluggish and slow due to a dirty air filter. Having this cleaned or replaced every 6 months or more when you live in a warmer climate is important. Because you may be using your air conditioner almost all year round, your unit will pull in more air from outside and circulate more when in operation. This means the air in your home may contain more of the following:
- Pollen and other allergens
- Dirt and debris
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Smoke and other odor-causing particles
These things can get trapped in your air ducts as the unit turns on and contribute to an unhealthy living space. If you or your family members are sensitive to allergens or these contaminants, you’re putting them at risk for exacerbating existing health issues, including triggering allergy and hay fever flare-ups. As temperatures begin to fluctuate as the seasons change, your ductwork can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold growth. A professional air duct cleaning that includes a disinfecting spray and complete removal of all dirt and dust can help improve air quality and also make your home cleaner and smell better year round, even when your HVAC system isn’t running.
Replace Worn-Out Parts on Your Unit
To keep your furnace and air conditioner working correctly year round, especially in the cooler months, now is the time to replace outdated or worn-out parts. If your furnace or outdoor condenser unit is more than 5 years old, now is the time to have your entire unit inspected by an HVAC pro. An inspection will detect any type damage or parts that need to be replaced before it becomes a major issue. In addition, it’s time to schedule an appointment if you’ve noticed that your:
- Air conditioning unit is not blowing cold air
- Heating system is unable to produce hot air
- Furnace is making a loud banging sound
- Unit won’t turn on or shuts off before a complete cycle occurs
Having these issues addressed and fixed now will reduce the likelihood that your unit will break down suddenly or after hours. In a nutshell, performing preventative maintenance on a regular basis can help you avoid an unexpected system failure and expensive repair bill.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
Now is the perfect time to upgrade your entire HVAC system to a new, energy efficient model. Choosing models with a high SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficient Rating will help you get the most out of your heating and cooling system. Whether you have a heat pump or an integrated system that runs entirely off of gas or electric, choosing a model that minimizes energy usage will save you money. Some newer models also integrate solar and geothermal heat sources together for maximum efficiency. When upgrading, don’t forget about a new programmable thermostat. An energy saving thermostat should work in unison with your entire home to control temperature and humidity in the air. If you have a wireless home, your new thermostat can be programmed to also work with your home security system. Ask your HVAC pro about a unit that will meet the needs of your home and will accommodate your budget nicely.
Remove Yard Debris Around Your Unit
While we may not have as many leaves and outdoor debris that our friends to the north have at this time of the year, there can still be yard waste that can quickly pile up. Making sure that any fallen leaves and other loose items are gathered up and disposed of properly is important—especially for your outside condenser unit. This debris can easily get past the protective screens of the outdoor HVAC unit and cause buildup as well as contribute to moss and bacteria growth. As a rule of thumb, be sure to clean your outside air conditioning unit frequently as well as the area around it. This will keep it working effectively year round, especially going into the cooler, winter months.
There are countless chores to consider as temps begin to cool off slightly. Try not to forget about your home’s heating system. Whether you need some minor adjustments, or a whole new unit, seeking the advice of a furnace contractor should be your first step.
If you’re uncertain about doing any HVAC upkeep on your own, don’t hesitate to give the pros at Reynolds Air & Heat a call to come out and evaluate your heating and cooling system.