When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 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 section of tarp or similar material through 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 materials can steadily collect 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, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of 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 accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Controlled Comfort HVAC about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack 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 heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!