Fall is in the air and everything is about to change. No more shorts and flip-flops. Sun setting earlier. School activities. Leaves falling. It’s time to re-acclimate!
It also means that it’s time to transition from your air conditioning system – that worked so hard to cool you during our humid summer months – to switching-on your furnace to ready your home for Midwest winter temperatures.
The Low-High Process.
The key to re-acclimating your home from summer cooling to winter heating is simply to remember that warm air rises and cooler air sinks. That’s it in a nutshell. In a 2-story home, that means over the summer, your air conditioning system worked hard to force cool air to the second floor. Now, as we approach winter, warm air from your furnace will automatically rise to heat upstairs room. Nature pushes warm air upward to keep your upstairs bedrooms warm and cozy.
I recommend an easy 5-step approach for an efficient and cost-effective Summer-to-Winter re-acclimation in your home:
1) Air Vents. Close the air vents in rooms on the higher floors; open those in your basement and on lower floors. Since cool air needs to be forced to higher elevations, you probably opened the upstairs vents last spring – now it’s time to do the opposite.
2) Filters. Fall is the perfect time to replace the furnace filters – it’s amazing how much dirt and dust they collect. With your family spending more time inside your home during winter months, air-quality is more important. Also, don’t forget to change the filter on the air cleaner and dehumidifier. Filters are inexpensive.
3) Test. Before it gets cold, Fall is the time to test your furnace and confirm that it is successfully forcing hot air – before you actually need it. Simply set your thermostat to a temperature around 75-degrees and switch to ‘HEAT’. Your furnace should start within a minute. You should feel warm air coming through your vents. If not, you need to contact a local HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and vents. Following your test, be sure to return your thermostat temperature setting to about 68-degrees.
4) Duct Debris. When you ‘test’ of your furnace, watch for any dust coming through the vent. This might suggest you need your vents cleaned by a professional HVAC service technician.
5) Cover Air Conditioning Unit. Getting ready for winter includes covered your outside air conditioning unit. Remove any debris around it and cover it with a waterproof tarp. It will limit any rodent or pest infestation.
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