Fall Homeowner Checklist

Temperatures are dropping. Leaves are falling. Crisp coolness is emerging. There is no denying that winter is near. While you may have Thanksgiving dinner and picking out the perfect Christmas tree on your mind, don’t forget that your house needs winter preparation, as well.

By performing a few simple maintenance tasks, you can be assured that your home is ready to ride out the winter with minimal damages. Getting these tasks out of the way before cold weather hits are ideal, as it lets you truly enjoy the winter season.

Checklist for Home Winterization

Windows and Doors

  •  Exchange summer screens for cooler weather storm windows and doors.
  • Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames to reduce heat loss.

  • Install new or additional weather stripping to doors and windows. This helps keep the warm air inside your house and the cold air outside.

  • Add door sweeps to the bottoms of exterior doors. This is a quick and easy way to save energy and money all year long.


  • Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. It may be necessary to replace batteries or the entire detector to ensure functionality.

  • Verify the expiration date on any household fire extinguishers and replace, if needed.

  • Remove any window air conditioning units. If you can not remove the unit, be sure to cover the outside portion of the unit with a tarp or an insulated wrap to keep cold air, insects, and debris out.

Heating Systems

  • Replace the furnace filter. This should be done regularly every sixty to ninety days depending on how many people are in your home and how many pets live there too. However, winter is not the time to slack on this task. Even if you haven’t previously kept up with this schedule, do it now.

  • Have a professional check your home heating system to avoid costly repairs later. By spotting problems early or performing routine maintenance, an HVAC expert can conduct smaller repairs before they become larger issues.

  • Considering an annual maintenance contract is also a great option.

  • Clean ducts or have a professional clean them in order to improve system efficiency and reduce household dust.

  • Cleaning out air ducts reduces the stress of your heating system, cleaner ducts improve the airflow.


Outside Air Conditioners

  • Open the lid to your outside unit and flip the switch off. This will prevent your unit from turning on during an unusually warm fall day.

  • Wash the unit with a hose to remove any bug, debris, or grass clippings. Let the unit dry thoroughly thereafter.

  • Place foam pipe covers over externally exposed pipes to protect them from freezing temperatures. Wrap duct tape around the foam to keep them in place.

  • Put a cover over the air conditioning unit. Make sure to select one that is waterproof and built for your specific unit.

  • Check the cover weekly to make sure it remains secure. Remove snow, ice, and debris off of the cover as needed.

Be Proactive 

  • Hire a professional to conduct an energy audit.

  • Upgrading to energy efficient Energy Star appliances, beefing up weatherstripping, or adding insulation to your attic can save hundreds on your monthly electric bill.

  • Save your family from a potential house fire by getting your chimney cleaned and inspected.

  • Most fires start when families decide to light an impromptu fire without prior cleaning.

  • Listen for unusual noises and smell for unusual odors. These are some of the easiest ways to detect problems with your home’s HVAC unit.

Seek Help from a Professional

Preparing your home for winter is a daunting task, one that may require help from professionals. We here at Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help you complete your home fall checklist. Our professionals can offer advice to efficiently winterize your home and perform the necessary services to keep your HVAC system functioning at an optimal level. Let the professionals at Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning keep you warm this winter.