When you think about winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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. Wrap up 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 surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside can worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at North Mechanical Heating and Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns away any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the 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, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!