When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally 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 goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't 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 worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!