When you think of winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered by a piece 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key 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 next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 could worsen all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Woody's Sudden Service about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, 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-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!