When you think about winter, we hope you think of a comfy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
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 vegetation or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a bit 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 check 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 steadily build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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 kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also eliminates any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your 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 take the time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!