When you think about winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening at home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up 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 see to it that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three 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 collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd 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 is free of 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 sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at US Air Heating and Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also eliminates any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any 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 all winter 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!