When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. 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 vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Dave's Diversified Services about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts over 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 will be on its 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, sipping 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 ready for next winter!