When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clean 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 covered up 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 evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found 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 furnace might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside could play a role in all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Connolly Electric & Mechanical about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns off any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!