When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine 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're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable 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 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. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of 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 now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Clean Air HVAC about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace 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 HVAC system may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!