When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of 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 on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at County Line Mechanical LLC about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your 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 make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!