When you think of winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening at home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made 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 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 close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or according to 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 maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Central Air LLC about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!