When you think about winter, ideally you think of a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash 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 kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate 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 optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at US Air Heating and Cooling about examining 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 smart to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating 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 will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking 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!