When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfy evening at home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made 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 Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or according to 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 it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Woody's Sudden Service Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns off any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!