When you think of 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 stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three 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 now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look 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 manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Stieferman Heating Company Inc about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your 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 make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!