When you imagine winter, ideally you think of a comfy evening at home. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear 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 close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from an air 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 vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential 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 around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw 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 the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once 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 prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season 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 prepped for next winter!