When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfy evening in your warm home. 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 might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants 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 Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else 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 kinds of debris can slowly collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or in line with 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 next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice 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 doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at B&D Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still easier to solve. This also removes any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. When 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 is going to be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the all 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 prepped for next winter!