Fall HVAC Maintenance Checklist


to do list
In the fall, homeowners are busy preparing their property for the winter. From the extra task of raking leaves to sealing cracks and applying weather stripping to keep the cold out, there are many tasks on your to-do list. One more to add to your list this time of year is HVAC maintenance! Below are crucial steps that you should take to properly care for your heating system this season. This will not only keep your system in good shape, but it will help save you money in the long run!

What You Can Do Yourself

DIY Outdoor System Care

  • Clear vegetation and debris away from your exterior heat pump unit. This will ensure adequate airflow and help to prevent damage to the unit.
  • Shut down your air conditioner for the winter. Inspect it for damage, and protect it with a cover if you choose. Turn off the outdoor switch to prevent your air conditioner from being turned on accidentally.

DIY Indoor System Care

  • Make sure any combustible products are stored away from your heating system.
  • Inspect your air filter and replace it if needed. A clean air filter will work to reduce indoor contaminants throughout the winter season, as well as facilitate proper airflow into your home.
  • Make sure your registers are clear of obstruction. Move heavy furniture and other items which may be blocking registers, preventing heating from reaching your living spaces and potentially straining your system.
  • Change the water panel of your home’s humidifier. Doing so will help your humidifier function at its best throughout winter to alleviate dry air problems and ensure your home maintains proper humidity levels.
  • Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. This should be done annually to protect your family from undetected carbon monoxide exposure.

What You Should Leave to the professionals

There are some tasks best left to the professionals. Heating systems are composed of sensitive equipment which requires maintenance to improve performance and efficiency. This fall, make it a priority to schedule professional fall HVAC maintenance. A trusted HVAC contractor will provide essential cleaning, care, and inspection to ensure your heating system can handle the important job of keeping your home comfortable through the cold months.


Have a question about fall HVAC maintenance? Leave a comment below for advice from our experts.


16 thoughts on “Fall HVAC Maintenance Checklist

  1. Thanks for the tips! I usually do a pretty good job of making sure that the outdoor unit of my HVAC remains in good condition, but I don’t know that much about maintaining my indoor unit. Usually, I change the air filter every once in a while, but it seems like there’s more that I can do. It seems like I should pay more attention to my unit when it comes to the fourth point about changing the water panel. Usually, I don’t really pay much attention to the humidifier, so I should check the water panel to find out if it needs to be changed.

    1. Yes, definitely check your water panel, especially if it’s been awhile since you last changed it! Changing the water panel will greatly improve your efficiency of your humidifier next season. Which humidifier do you have? We have a couple guides showing you how to access and replace it if you are not sure how to do it!

  2. Thanks for the advice. I always try to prepare my air conditioner for the winter all the time. I need to remember to inspect the unit when spring comes around because I always forget to do that. One of these days I am going to have problems that could have been avoidable if I forget to do it again.

    1. These are great items to have marked on your checklist. You definitely want to take care of that A/C as it is a investment worth protecting. When winter comes, I would definitely take the side of caution and cover it, but also make sure that the switch is turned off, that way you can prevent someone accidentally turning it on. Also, now is the time to clear up any debris – materials, weeds growing on it, etc. – if you haven’t.

      Remember to start off small and the bigger issues will take care of themselves.

  3. Thanks for this great checklist! It’s easy for me to forget what I need to do to properly care for my HVAC system, so this will really simplify that process. A system is such an investment that I really want to make sure I’m caring for it properly. Plus it should be more energy efficient if it’s in good shape, which is always a good thing! Thanks for the article.

  4. Thank you for the HVAC maintenance checklist. I just bought my first house and I want to take care of it as much as possible. These tips will help me with that. I really like how this article distinguishes what I should do and what a professional should do. It is true that some tasks are best left to the professionals.

  5. I definitely think it is important to keep the HVAC system in good condition, especially before it gets to be winter. We use the heater a lot during the colder months, so I want to be sure that we do all of this maintenance this fall. It looks like we can do things like clear the area around the unit and then clean the air filters. However, I will definitely be sure to leave most of the maintenance to the professionals, just to be sure that it will perform its best this winter.

  6. This will be handy, as fall is approaching faster than I’d like! I’m glad to know that there are some things that I can do myself; I like feeling useful. Where can I get a cover for the AC unit? But I’ll be sure and not touch the heating system. I’d hate to mess anything up there. Thanks for the post!

  7. Shutting down the air conditioner for winter is a good idea. You won’t be needing it. so just turn it off. This reminds me that I need to replace the batteries in my thermostat tonight. I want to get that done before winter starts. Do you think I should also replace my air filter?

  8. This is a good fall HVAC maintenance checklist to follow. It is something that I am going to have to try out this year. That way I can make sure that my heating and cooling system will be working properly. Even if it means I need to get help from a HVAC contractor for the things I cannot do, it will be worth it. That way they can do the things that need to be left to the professionals.

  9. With winter quickly approaching, this is a very well-timed article! Thanks for explaining what we could try ourselves vs what we should leave for the pros. I will have to show this list to my husband, lest he try and do everything himself!

  10. I like that you mentioned checking the air filters. I know when I replaced mine I noticed a big difference in air quality. Anything more than that and I leave it to the professionals. It is not worth damaging your system more.

  11. Great article guys. It had never crossed my mind that you should shut down the HVAC unit over winter.

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