When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared 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. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected 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, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out 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 can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Dave's Diversified Services about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!