When you imagine 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 left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it 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 objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a section 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 evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at AC Sales about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!