When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening at home. 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 might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually located 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 grows unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at H&C Heating and Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping 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 prepared for next winter!