When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it 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 ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Point Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping 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!