When you imagine winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes 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 a Cold Winter
1. Cover 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 surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change 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 an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your heating might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to fix. This also removes any dust that will often have gathered 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-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!