When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean 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 close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow easily, 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 according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Bon Air Service Company about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!