When you think of winter, we hope you think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes 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 rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co. about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the winter 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!