When you think about winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during 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, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from an air 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can play a role in all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Appalachian Heating about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your heating might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also removes any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!