When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment 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. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually found 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 heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Air Temperature Control about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw 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 furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having 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!