When you imagine winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap 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 make sure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered up 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, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate 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 rub 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, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also removes any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!