When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure 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 rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or according to 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 once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub 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 check your blower.
4. Search 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!