When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap 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 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 recommended to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems 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 contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure 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 vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 could contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns off any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the winter 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 prepared for next winter!