When you think about winter, ideally you imagine a comfortable evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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 up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange 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 accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Precision Mechanical about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to solve. This also removes 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 condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!