When you think about winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace 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 accumulate 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 more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out 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 may worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the chance to discover potential problems right away, while they're still easier to solve. This also removes any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, 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 on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having 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 prepped for next winter!