When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants 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 anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or based on 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 keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Look 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 may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Halverson Brothers Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small 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 heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to fix. This also eliminates any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having 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!