When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created 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 Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris 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 accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial 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 next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal 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. Check 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 may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Custom Air Systems Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns off any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, 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 the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!