When you think about winter, ideally you think of a comfy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants 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 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 make sure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also smart to ensure 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, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn 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 functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared 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 beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!