When you think of winter, ideally you imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped 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 discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a section 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 found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all manners of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Smyth Air Conditioning Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also eliminates any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once 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 should be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!