When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside can contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Olde Towne Heating & Air about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any 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 take the time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!