When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential 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 rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. 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 wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any 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 spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!