When you think about winter, you hopefully think about 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 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 wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover 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 close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Knoechel Heating Company about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also eliminates any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should 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 rest of the season 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!