When you think of winter, we hope you think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not to go 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 furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created 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 Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Heartland Heating & Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to discover potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, 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 heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!