When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through 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, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may worsen all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Paniccia Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also removes any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!