When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable evening at home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover 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 surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash 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 kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 could worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns off any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, 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 prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking 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!