When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep 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 made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally 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 continues unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Mayeuxs AC & Heating about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to detect potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!