When you imagine winter, we hope you think of a comfortable evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get 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 vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at AW Heating & Air Conditioning about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small 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 HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your heating may be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of 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 will be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!