When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfy evening at home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through 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 found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can steadily collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential 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 it continue working at its best. 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 are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at McFadden Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!