When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally found 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 maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air 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 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 near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search 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 could contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!