When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
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 ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material during 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, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all manners of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Patterson & Stirling about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to solve. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating 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 is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped 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. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!