When you think about winter, ideally you imagine a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up 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 check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can steadily collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, maintaining 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 couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Olde Towne Heating & Air about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!