When you think of winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up 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 created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
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 free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily placed 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 heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Colvin's Heating and Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating 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 should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!