When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up 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 vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material during 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, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial 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 keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult 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 slight flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also removes any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!