When you think about winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Farris Heating & Air about checking out 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 heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared 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 in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!