When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating 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 prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover 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 see to it that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over 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, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near 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, hire a professional technician to examine 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 worsen all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!