5 Steps to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

5 Step Winter HVAC Checklist

Though North Carolina homeowners typically experience mild winters and the occasional sunny and 70°weather into November, colder temperatures are inevitable. With chilly days ahead, preparing your HVAC system for winter is key to keeping your family comfortable and your system operating at max efficiency. Follow our 5 step checklist to get your HVAC system ready for winter! 

1. Schedule A Fall Maintenance Appointment

Fall is the ideal time to have an HVAC technician inspect and perform any needed maintenance on your heating and cooling system, as it is typically the time when your AC and heat pump are used the least with such moderate temperatures. 

During a bi-annual maintenance visit, a Carolina Comfort Air technician will inspect your system wiring and heat exchange, check for any gas leaks, and run a diagnostic test to ensure your system is in tip-top shape before winter weather hits. Be sure to let your technician know if you’ve noticed unusual noises, smells, or leaking. Doing so will make the most of your technicians time and your money!

2. Turn On Your Heat Pump or Furnace 2-3 Times Before Winter Arrives

Fire up your heat pump or furnace at least 2 times before consistent cold weather arrives to ensure your system is working as it should. Don’t wait until the first cold day of the year to turn your heat on, only to realize your system is not properly heating your home. Do set your thermostat to your desired temperature and let your home reach that temperature before turning it back off. 

3. Adjust and Test Your Thermostat – And Think SMART

A smart thermostat, like the Trane XL824, is your best friend when it comes to energy efficiency and savings during winter months. With wi-fi connectivity and a smartphone app, you can remotely control the temperature of your home even when you’re away. Trane’s smart thermostats even learn your heating and cooling preferences and optimizes for the perfect balance of efficiency and comfort.

With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to schedule your HVAC to run less while you’re out for the day, so you’ll use less energy by heating (or cooling) your home. You can program your digital thermostat to kick in right before family members are scheduled to start coming home, so that your home is warmed to a perfect 68°-72° degrees from the moment you walk in the door. 

PRO TIP: According to Energy.gov, to achieve the most savings you should set your thermostat to 68° when you’re home and lower 10-12 degrees at night or during the day when you are away from your home. 

4. Replace Your HVAC Air Filters

Clogged HVAC air filters are one of the most common causes of system breakdowns. When your filters get clogged, dust and dirt settles into your HVAC system creating wear and tear on its parts, and preventing proper air flow from circulating your home. Air filters should be checked monthly for any dust accumulation and replaced no longer than 90 days. If you have pets or suffer from allergies, you’ll probably need to change it more often.

Recently, AC filters have gotten a lot of attention due to the pandemic. With the uncertainty about the airborne transmission of the virus, some experts are recommending the use of higher-efficiency filters to trap virus particles. 

5. Winterize Your Outdoor AC Unit

While North Carolinians don’t see several feet of snow each winter, we do experience a few good ice storms and bouts of wintry mix. Though our milder winters save us from shoveling snow off our heating units, it’s important to still keep our outdoor unit from any debris, like leaves, twigs, or grass clumps.  

You may consider a Trane WeatherGuard Top accessory to further protect your air conditioner from outside elements. The accessory easily snaps onto the top of your unit , reducing the accumulation of rain, snow, ice leaves, and any debris from entering your unit. The Trane WeatherGuard top is a great way to keep your investment in the best condition all year long. 

Trane WeatherGuard Top


Protect your family against cold and flu season this winter with our top-rated indoor air quality products that easily install directly into your HVAC system. 

The Air Scrubber by Aerus removes 99% of surface and airborne contaminants including VOCs, odors, dust, pet dander, and other allergens. The system uses proprietary ActivePure® Technology and has been tested in independent labs and proven effective on bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi on surfaces and in the air. ActivePure® Technology even demonstrates a 99.98% surface kill rate of SARS-CoV-2 Virus within 7 hours! This indoor air quality solution helps reduce allergy symptoms, sinus issues, and can even extend your HVAC life. 

Air Scrubber Plus HVAC Accessory

UV Lights reduce colds and flu symptoms by preventing bacteria and other contaminants from growing inside your HVAC equipment. Combat airborne odors, prevent drain line clogging, maintain clean AC coils, and reduce energy usage and electricity costs.

HVAC System UV Light

Carolina Comfort Air encourages all North Carolina homeowners to follow these simple steps to prepare their HVAC systems for the winter weather ahead. Doing so will ensure your family’s comfort, prolong your system life, prevent breakdowns, and maximize system efficiency. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your HVAC unit, please do not hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Carolina Comfort Air. We are dedicated to comfort year round and want to make sure you and your family are warm and relaxed this winter.