When you think about winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while 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 prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
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 clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange 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 integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out 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 manners of comfort problems, like 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 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 Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the 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!