When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a comfy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared 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 Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during 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, normally placed 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 goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from an air 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at House of Heating Incorporated about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also eliminates any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!