When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate 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 brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could worsen all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at H & H Service Company about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also eliminates any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!