When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes 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. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean 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 surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air 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 vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Northern Comfort Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace could be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also removes any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!