When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure 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 objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your heating could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to solve. This also eliminates any dust that might 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 should be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!