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The fall chill has swept across the Plains States, signaling that summer is long gone and winter is not so far in the future. So as the weather turns, midwestern homeowners in Lake County will need to prepare before snow starts to fall and real cold sets in. The last few warm days and free weekends aren’t just times to fit in a few more outdoor activities — they’re also prime times to make sure your home HVAC is prepped to provide heat throughout the long winter months in Illinois. Being proactive and prepared now helps you stay warm, cozy, and restful when the snow falls over Lake County, so use these fall HVAC tips while the weather is warmer and the sun is out, and enjoy the colder times indoors without worries.

Replace the Filters Before Winter Sets in

By far the easiest tip on this list, regularly check and replace your home’s air filters. While the recommended time to change the filter is every 3 months, it’s important that the filter be checked monthly to make sure it’s not overly clogged, dusty, or damaged.

Head Outdoors to Check on the A/C Unit

It’s easy to forget about the A/C unit outside, but it should be checked on to make sure it’s still running properly and efficiently before letting it sit dormant. Because once spring comes back, you’ll want your A/C ready to flip over as soon as possible.

To best ensure your unit can perform as it’s supposed to, make sure it has a clearance of 1–2 ft. on all sides, and that it is clear of visible dirt and debris, including tree branches. It’s also a good idea to check the unit’s foundation for cracks, and to make sure that it is still on level ground.

Keep the Condensate Drain Cleaned and Clear

While checking on the outdoor A/C unit, take the time to check out the condensate drain on your air handler. Once a year, pour a cup of bleach (diluted with water) down the air condensate drain pipe to clear out the pipe and reduce the likelihood of mold and algae buildup.

Check the Home’s Vents

Walk around your home and check the vents in each room to make sure that the airflow is equal throughout your whole space. If the air flow seems low in several places, this is a good indication that the duct work should also be checked for any possible openings or leaks. Additionally, it’s good to check that enough vents are still open throughout your home. A good rule of thumb is that 80% of your home’s vents should stay open, to help ease the strain on your HVAC unit as it heats your home.

Clean the Coil Systems

In both of the HVAC units for your home — indoor and outdoor — there is a coil system that keeps the units running. It’s important to check these systems to ensure that they are clean and free of leaks. An indication that there is a potential blockage in the coils is if the HVAC unit is running harder than it should be, or if the unit doesn’t turn on. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling the coil cleaning yourself, it is best left to a professional, as damaging the coils can be a somewhat costly repair and a bit more complicated than the typical DIY project. 

Winter is closing in on Lake County, so make sure to be diligent about your HVAC maintenance and checks. An annual HVAC inspection will help uncover any small issues with your heating system to be repaired before turning the system on and leading to a more costly repair. If you’re a homeowner in Lake County, Illinois looking to schedule maintenance before the first big freeze of the season, or have questions about other ways to prepare your home systems now, reach out to the HVAC professionals at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling. With over 30 years of experience, the trained technicians at Duane Blanton will have a the answers you’re looking for and the solutions prepared to keep your home properly heated through winter. Reach out today, at (847) 855-0075, or schedule through Duane Blanton’s convenient online scheduling portal right from your browser! 

Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling is proud to be a Bryant Authorized Dealer, offering top-quality heating and cooling options to fit the specific needs of Duane Blanton customers. The quality, comfort, and efficiency of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems’ products naturally aligns with Duane Blanton’s drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Ask a Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling expert today about the advantages of upgrading to a new Bryant Heating & Cooling system for your home!