When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a comfortable evening at home. But every now and then 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 keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around 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. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered 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 evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining 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 according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!