When you think about winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment 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 ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. 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 problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, 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 on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking 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 prepared for next winter!