When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns away any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!