When you imagine winter, ideally you 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're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared 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 a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can contribute to 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 H&C Heating and Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace could be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems early, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!