When you think of winter, we hope you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse 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 accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect 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 clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not 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 doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside could worsen all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any 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 spend some time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!