When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a cozy evening at home. 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 might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover 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 see to it that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at I-Deal HVAC about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also burns off any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared 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 prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!