When you think of winter, ideally you think of a comfy evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Dearing's Service & Solutions about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns away any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once 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 on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping 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 prepped for next winter!