When you imagine winter, we hope you think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover 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 close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Tri County Climate Control LLC about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace could be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season 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 prepped for next winter!