November 10, 2022
By Mark Paup

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Fall

Updated January 22, 2024

Fall is in full swing. In addition to the time, you’ll want to allocate to football season and raking leaves, there’s one other activity you should be prepared for this season: HVAC maintenance.

As temperatures continue to drop and you begin to turn on the heat, you’re going to want to make sure your heating equipment stays in tip-top shape. By far, the best way to prepare your HVAC system for the cold season in Iowa is with a professional heating system check.

Not only will you save on energy bills, but you’ll also enjoy peace of mind that your heating system won’t break down on a chilly winter day.

Keep reading to learn the five essential ways to prepare your HVAC system for fall:
  • Clean your air vents
  • Change your filter
  • Adjust your thermostat
  • Watch out for leaks and sounds
  • Call for a heating system check

This blog covers all the tips needed to ensure your heating system is ready and stays reliable through fall and winter.

Want a reliable heating system check ASAP?

Contact Golden Rule! When you contact us for a heating system check, you know you’ll receive comprehensive inspections and tests. We offer fast same-day service, fair and upfront pricing, and more repair options than any other HVAC company in the Des Moines, IA Metro area.

Call us at 515-393-4526 or contact us below to keep your heating system running smoothly during this fall.

Clean Your Air Vents

Proper airflow through your HVAC system is critical to delivering consistent heat throughout your home. Any filth can reduce this efficiency, so make sure to thoroughly clean your air vents to get rid of any dust and debris. When your air vents are blocked by dust, your HVAC system has to work harder to compensate for the lack of airflow coming in. Start your preparations by opening and cleaning your air vents, which can also improve your indoor air quality during the fall.

Follow these steps to clean your air vents:
  • Remove the covers: Use a screwdriver to remove the cover.
  • Clean the covers: Soak them in warm soapy water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Vacuum the ducts: Use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get rid of as much dust and dirt as possible near your air vents.
  • Wipe down the vents: Grab any lingering dust or pollen by wiping down the vents with a microfiber cloth.
  • Scrub the covers: Use a sponge to scrub the covers after they soak.
  • Dry the covers: Once they’re done, screw them back in.

Change Your Filter

Changing your air filters is one of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks for any homeowner, but it’s easily forgotten. Dirty or clogged filters mean your HVAC system works overtime to keep your home warm. Replacing it at the beginning of fall improves system efficiency and indoor air quality, which is especially important as you keep your windows shut during the cooler season. A clean air filter also helps to extend your system’s lifespan and avoids expensive repairs.

If you have a smart thermostat, it will alert you when it’s time for a filter replacement. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to replace your filter every 30-90 days to keep your system running at ideal performance.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Check your thermostat before turning your heating system on. Your thermostat’s settings play a major role in keeping your home cozy without skyrocketing your utility bills. It should be set to “HEAT” instead of “COOL,” so it kicks on whenever the temperature dips.

Day to day, many homeowners want to save money by shutting off their thermostats, but that means returning to a cold home or frozen pipes. Or they want to leave their thermostats at a set temperature to return to a warm home, which increases their energy bills. The best way to keep your home warm and water pipes are safe while saving as much as 10% on your heating bills is to turn back your thermostat for 8 hours during the day. Plus, today’s smart thermostats can learn your comfort preferences and have geofencing capabilities, meaning perfect temperatures for you in the fall without wasting money heating an empty home.

If your heating system doesn’t start when you adjust your thermostat settings or isn’t warming your home as much as it used to, you’ll want to contact one of our expert HVAC technicians as quickly as possible. There is likely a frayed thermostat wire that needs replacement.

Watch Out for Leaks and Sounds

When you turn your heating system on for the first time this year, it’s common to hear banging or clanging noises. They should stop fairly quickly. However, whining or grinding noises indicate a deeper problem with your system’s motor. Call a technician immediately.

Another thing to check for is ductwork air leaks, as warm air blowing from your ducts outside of the vents means a spike in your utility bills. If you think your ductwork leaks, it’s a good idea to schedule a heating system check to inspect your full system from end to end.

Call for a Heating System Check

The last way to guarantee optimal heating from fall to winter is to schedule a system check with a professional technician. Golden Rule’s skilled heating technicians can service furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and more. We are equipped with the training and tools to provide you with reliable heat through the fall so that your system remains efficient for years to come. Some of the services we provide during a system check include:

  • Inspecting heat exchanger
  • Testing blower motor & amp draw
  • Testing inducer motor amp draw
  • Testing start capacitor
  • Inspecting blower wheel
  • Testing flame sensor
  • Checking filter
  • Checking ductwork conditions

With our affordable Gold Club maintenance plan, you can receive additional discounts and priority service while helping your HVAC systems function at peak performance from season to season.

Trust Our HVAC Experts to Keep You Comfortable This Fall with a Heating System Check

Our mission at Golden Rule is to provide reliable and high-quality workmanship to every homeowner in the Des Moines Metro area. We’re open Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and on the weekends from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. No matter when you call, we can help you prepare your home for fall with a heating system check. Plus, we back up all our services with 1-year labor warranties and 100% satisfaction guarantees.

When you enroll in our Gold Club maintenance program, you’ll receive priority service and a 10% discount on service repairs.

Call us at 515-393-4526 or click below to see why we enjoy thousands of verified 5-star reviews!

Contact Us Today for HVAC Service!

If you found this post helpful, check out some other budget-saving tips:

Decoding Static Pressure in HVAC Systems
Decoding Static Pressure in HVAC Systems: A Homeowner’s Guide Hey there, homeowners! Why might your heating or cooling system feel like it’s not hitting the mark? It... Read More
How to choose the right HVAC system for your home
Hey there, homeowner! Are you tired of sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter? It’s time to tackle the challenge of finding the perfect HVAC... Read More
DAIKIN DM96VC Whole Home Gas Furnace
As a homeowner, ensuring your home is equipped with reliable heating solutions is paramount for comfort and efficiency. Among the myriad options available, the DAIKIN DM96VC Whole... Read More