When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants 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 a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check 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 slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three 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 now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Look 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Custom Air Systems Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack 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 heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!