When you imagine winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter decides not 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 blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover 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 ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. 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. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal 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. 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 can play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Air Service Co. about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to correct. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!