When you think about winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But every now and then 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 keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared 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 Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a section 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, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get 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 has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns off any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When 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 should be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!