When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes 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 stop a blizzard from blowing through, 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 ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw 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 HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered 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 will be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!