When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a comfortable evening at home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key 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 around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all sorts 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 Three Rivers Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, 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 make an effort to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!