When you think about winter, we hope you think about a comfortable 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 may not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. 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. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect 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 brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Assured Appliance and Heating & Air about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 will be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!