When you think of winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover 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 ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems 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 materials can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient 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 couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or are not getting 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns away any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!