When you think about winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge 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 make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean 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 steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining adequate 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 few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual 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 is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all 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 prepped for next winter!