When you think of winter, we hope you think of a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers 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 Winter
1. Wrap 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 surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Age Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight 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 heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still easier to solve. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!