When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening at home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get 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 doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your HVAC system could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns off any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!