When you think about winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared 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. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse 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 kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then 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 odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search 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 may worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Total Comfort about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns off any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these 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 take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping 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 ready for next winter!