When you imagine winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening at home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, 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 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 dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key 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 clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Faust Air Conditioning and Heating about checking out 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 furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns off any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking 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!