When you think about winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck 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 unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material over 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 found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or based on 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 once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get 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 may worsen all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Age Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn 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 working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns away any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your 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 take the time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!