When you imagine winter, ideally you think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not 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 showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at HCE Systems Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to fix. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!