When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover 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 surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Patterson & Stirling Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the chance to discover potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating 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 its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!