When you think about winter, ideally you think of a comfortable evening at home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made 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 dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear 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 by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few 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 accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these 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 make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!