When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a comfortable evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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 Your Outdoor Unit and Clear 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 free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from your 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 crucial 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 next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!