When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable evening in your warm home. 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 won't always be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty 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. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. 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 debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash 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 kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning about examining 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 Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is working 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 provide the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!