When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system 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 ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material during 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 located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few 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 once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around 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. 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Heartland Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!