When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Home Comfort Heating & Air about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns off any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these 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 spend some time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!