When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around 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 leaves or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually 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 grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy 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 essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look 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 contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Honke Heating & AC about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also removes any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these 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 ready in advance, you can spend the 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!