When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near 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 clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a section 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, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could worsen all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Integrity AC & Heating LLC about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping 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!