When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable 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. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear 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 free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material through 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 placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to fix. This also eliminates any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any 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 prepared beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!