When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left 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 broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge 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 vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally found 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 continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three 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 once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to 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 small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns away any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having 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!