When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening at home. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty 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 Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clear 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 over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally 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 goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Ambient Air about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating could be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns off any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. When 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 should be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, 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 prepared for next winter!