When you think about winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for 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 make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure 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. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might 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 healthy. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential 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 it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Air Alliance Team about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to discover potential problems early, while they're still easier to fix. This also eliminates any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. As soon as 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 will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!