When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold 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 make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Look 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 can worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!