When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening at home. But sometimes 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 stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or aren't 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at E.B. Air about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these 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 take the time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!