When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine a comfortable 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 won't always be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through 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, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your 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 an essential component it can accumulate 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 more efficient airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out 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 may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Integrity AC & Heating LLC about checking out 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 Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to fix. This also eliminates any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!