When you think about winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near 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. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on 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 once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 can play a role in all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns off any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as 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 is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!