When you think of winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped 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 dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure 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. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Knoechel Heating about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system could be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still easier to solve. This also removes any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over 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-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!