When you think about winter, ideally you think of 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 won't always be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also a good idea 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. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Farris Heating & Air about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. 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 wise to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating might 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 right away, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also eliminates any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any 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 in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!