When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable 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 won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up 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 see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate 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 gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract 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 more efficient airflow. If you notice any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at May's Heating & Air 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 Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still simpler to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!