When you think of winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared 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 dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during 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 placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential 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 around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check 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 may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Anderson Heating & A/C about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!