As the cooler months approach, now is the time to be proactive in preparing your HVAC system for the winter. There are certain obvious indications of HVAC issues, but some can be harder to pinpoint.

The obvious can include unwanted temperature changes, off-putting smells, or an increase in your energy bills.

Here are a few tips to keep your home system in great condition before the season changes:

• Change your air filters. These should be changed every three months for the highest quality of air flow and efficiency.

• Keep vents and air ducts clean. Clear vents and ducts prevent dust, pollen and other allergens that may have built up over the summer from circulating through your home. Dirty air ducts can create a burning smell throughout your home when you turn up the heat.

• Check your condensation pan and drain lines. Are they clear or clogged? Are pans full? Rusty? If rusty, replace it immediately. Full drain pans should be cleaned out to avoid mold and mildew, as well as checked for any leaks. Blocked drains and-or lines are the most common reason for leaks.

• Air drafts and inconsistent room temperatures. Do you notice rooms that feel drafty or are a different temperature than the rest of your home? Be sure to check insulation around doorways and windows that might wear down over time.

• Reset your thermostat. The change of seasons is a great time to reprogram your daily temperature schedule. Save this season by setting your home temperature a few degrees lower while you’re away during the day or during sleep times.

Notice something’s not quite right but can’t put your finger on it? Along with these fall tips, consider getting a seasonal check-up for your HVAC system.

Choose a reliable HVAC services company that will inspect the system and all its parts, and make sure everything is in working order. If not, catching those problems now can save time and money later on, when the small issues become big ones.

Dave Miller, owner of Superior Services, has been servicing HVAC systems for more than 20 years in the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island area.