When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a comfortable evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or based on 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 on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, removing 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 should be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, 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. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!