When you think about winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers 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 a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a bit 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 check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential 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 brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform 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. If not, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems early, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns off any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating 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 will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!