When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change 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 collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!