When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared 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 release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over 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 found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Central Heating & Plumbing about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to discover potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your 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 make an effort to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, 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!