When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening in your warm 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 prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made 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 release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Farris Heating & Air about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to discover potential problems early, while they're still easier to fix. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter 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 prepared for next winter!