When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers 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 Winter
1. Wrap 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 clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a piece 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of 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 accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Comfort Zone, LLC about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also removes any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When 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 on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!