When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable evening at 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 blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable 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 Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with 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 around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look 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 contribute to all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Select Comfort Systems Heating & Air Conditioning about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these 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 take the time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!