Although fall is here at the moment, winter is right around the corner. Here in Ottawa, once the mercury starts dipping, it will be months before it changes direction. That means you want to make sure your HVAC system is ready for the cold now before it becomes far more difficult to address any problems.

Change Your Air Filters
You should already be doing this on a monthly basis to ensure the highest possible air quality for your home. Nonetheless, make sure you at least do it now before winter sets in.

Keep in mind, too, that when you take the old filter out, you may not necessarily see a lot of dust and debris. That doesn’t mean it’s not there, though. You’re still doing the right thing by switching the filter out.

Test Your Thermostat
On one of these cool fall mornings, turn on the heat and set your thermostat for whichever temperature you generally prefer in the winter. Then see how long it takes for your home to get there. If it takes too long or doesn’t happen at all, you definitely have a problem and need help from a professional.

Still, it’s far better to catch that problem now than wait until you’re surrounded by snow and may have to wait a few days.

Consider a Programmable Thermostat
While we’re on the subject, this isn’t actually an HVAC tip, per se, but it’s a good recommendation we’d like to pass along. Programmable thermostats allow you to pick a temperature and then schedule when you’d like your home to reach it.

For example, if you get home at 5:30 every day, you can make sure that it’s nice and warm for you when you do. At the same time, this allows your HVAC unit to be completely off when you’re gone too, which will save you a lot of energy and strain on the entire setup.

Clean Out Your Blower Compartment
Take a second and vacuum out any debris that may be in your furnace’s blower compartment. It’s a small chore to complete, but it will mean better air quality and an investment in the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Check Your Air Vents
This is another easy thing you can do to get your home ready for winter but also make it much more pleasant too. Go around and check your air vents. Make sure they’re not blocked by anything. You should also want to check for any buildup of dust and debris. Clean it out and, as long as you’ve switched out the filters, the problem should be solved. Still, keep an eye on it. If the same vent keeps filling with debris, you have an internal problem in your vents.

Run Your System for an Hour and Listen for Noise
Again, while the weather is comfortable, run your HVAC unit like it was winter and keep an ear out for about an hour. Now is the time to catch any odd noises. You should also see if it’s draining water anywhere too.

That’s it. Run through these six simple tips and you’ll have a much more comfortable winter this year.