When you think about winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Cooler Tymes LLC about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still simpler to solve. This also eliminates any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!