When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material during 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 placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or can't get 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 has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace may be unequipped for the first real 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 simpler to resolve. This also burns off any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these 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 ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!