When you think about winter, we hope you think about a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going 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 heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!