When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want 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 rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. 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 evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace 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 essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 worsen all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Central Heating & Plumbing about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also burns off any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 will be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!