When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening at home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped 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 discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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 could play a role in all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Premium Air Services LLC about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still easier to resolve. This also removes any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, 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 the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!