When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening in your warm home. But once in a while 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 keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable 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. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart 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 check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and possibly 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 an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap 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 its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns off any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort 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. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!