When you think about winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Olde Towne Heating & Air about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!