When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening at home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared 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 discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily located 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 could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire 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 can play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Precision Mechanical about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!